After more than a year’s delay due to challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, STM Hospitality LLC has officially opened Shoot The Moon, Houston’s first self-service bar and restaurant, at 8155 Long Point Road in the Spring Branch District.

The unique concept has been an instant hit.

“I love the self-serve concept, it really allows you to enjoy the experience on your own time. There was an impressive variety of wine/beer/spirits/cocktails and I love having the option to try before having a full pour,” said a reviewer on Yelp.

Property owner Braun Enterprises gave the food a shout-out on social media as well: “We love our new tenant! Check them out — the pizza is where it’s at!”

Shoot The Moon is open Sunday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

With indoor and outdoor seating, television screens tuned to sporting events and a nice mix of expert service and the ability to serve yourself drinks, it’s the ideal place to bring the whole family for dinner, meet friends after work for drinks or grab a bite for lunch.

Chef Dax McAnear developed the well-rounded menu that features small plates, pizzas and healthy fare to suit a variety of tastes. Expect crowd favorites like chicken wings, as well as sophisticated, yet approachable, offerings like Paleo zucchini chips and pimento cheese stuffed mushrooms. There’s something for everyone and for every craving, whether you’re in the mood for a chicken tenders basket or chicken thighs with cherry-apricot chipotle compote.

“While our self-serve tap wall has gotten a lot of attention, we are so much more than a bar. We are a chef-driven restaurant that is designed around guest convenience — everything is as fresh as possible, from scratch and made to order,” said Sandra Cook, marketing director for Shoot The Moon.

The full menu is available at lunch, Cook said, offering a variety of salads, shared plates, healthy entrees as well as the pizzas everyone is raving about — made fast and fresh.

How does it all work?

Check in at the counter, show proof of age if planning to use the tap wall, open a tab and get a special card that activates the tap system.

You also place your food order at the counter. Be sure to ask the knowledgeable staff for suggestions on the menu and how to tailor your selections, especially the pizzas, to your dietary needs. They’ve got gluten-free/Paleo crust and vegan “cheese.”

While your food is being prepared, pick a table and check out the tap wall for an array of drink options from wine to beer to cocktails. Tap on the screens for descriptions of the offerings or ask a staff member for help.

Guests over age 21 can pour themselves beer, cider, wine, straight spirits and ready-made cocktails from the sleek and easy-to-navigate tap system. Everything is charged by the ounce, which means you can test and taste small pours or opt for a full serving of some 80 beverage selections. (Safeguards are in place to manage alcohol consumption).

Non-alcoholic sodas and mixers are available free of charge.

Ready to grab an alcoholic drink?

Place your tap card in the slot in front of your drink of choice, choose a wine, beer or cocktail glass from shelves beneath the taps and pour as much or as little as you like. The quantity and price is reflected on the screen as you pour.

Food is brought out to the table by staff and, of course, you can order more — including dessert — at any time and grab another drink while you wait. Once you are done with your meal and drinks, drop your tap card through a slot in a secure box on your way out the door. Your credit or debit card will be charged later and a receipt sent electronically. There’s no waiting for the server to bring your bill.

“We’ve eliminated the frustration points such as waiting to get the attention of a bartender or waiter to order your next drink or food item. We’re giving guests a high level of control with their experience,” said Kevin Floyd, STM Hospitality’s executive director.

STM Hospitality is a Houston-based partnership formed in 2019 that includes longtime collaborators and friends Floyd, Chef McAnear and Jonas Herd, development director.

Shoot The Moon partner Jonas Herd is a Spring Branch resident

All three partners grew up working in and around the restaurant industry. Also, Herd lives in the Spring Branch District.

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission allowed for self-pour systems in March 2019. The Spring Branch STM location is just the first to be planned by the partners, who seek to position Shoot The Moon as the restaurant model of the future.

“The pandemic and the economic climate over the past year have been exceptionally difficult for just about everyone, including people like us who are crazy enough to completely reinvent the restaurant experience,” Floyd said.

When the pandemic delayed the opening, the partners took an opportunity to launch a unique investment campaign.

For a limited time, all investors of $1,000 or more to the NextSeed campaign for Shoot The Moon were promised a free pizza a week for life.

“We had just over 250 people (out of our 482 supporters) invest in the campaign at $1,000 or more, which qualified them for the free pizza promotion,” said Cook.

The 4,000-square-foot restaurant is located in the Spring Branch Village shopping center, which is also home to the new location for Feges’s BBQ as well as an array of other newly opened and planned businesses.

“We are absolutely stoked to be able to share our innovative concept with the people of Houston,” Floyd said, “especially the residents of our Spring Branch neighborhood, who have been cheering us on all along.”

Shoot The Moon
8155 Long Point Rd.
Houston, TX 77055

— by Dorothy Puch Lillig

— Photos by Amy Scott Photography