Father and daughter Autumn and Mark Zientek brought Southern Ice Co., a family-friendly sports bar, to The Woodlands area Nov. 30 with years of experience in the industry as well as community involvement.

About the owners

Among his 37 years of experience in the restaurant industry, Mark Zientek owned and operated The Refuge Bar & Bistro in The Woodlands. The bar has since closed as Mark Zientek switched gears to focus on The Refuge Steakhouse & Bourbon Bar.

“I have worked every position in the restaurant business for 27 of those 37 years in The Woodlands,” Mark Zientek said.

His experience in The Woodlands community stems from 50 years as a resident as well as his time working for The Woodlands Development Company.

Mark Zientek said he managed hospitality operations for The Woodlands Development Company, now Howard Hughes.

After selling The Refuge Bar & Bistro, Mark Zientek decided to open a bar with a different approach alongside his daughter, Autumn Zientek.

Autumn Zientek said her desire to join the industry came during her time serving and bartending for her father at The Refuge Bar & Bistro.

After earning a degree in business management, Autumn joined the management team at The Refuge Bar & Bistro, and she is the general manager of Southern Ice Co.

“It's just a place of comfort. You know, you get good food and friendly service,” Autumn Zientek said.

What’s special about it?

Mark Zientek said they established the concept of the Southern Ice Co. to offer the community a family-centered sports bar.

“I think the area needed a family friendly, casual, everyday restaurant to go to,” Mark Zientek said. “We have really nice restaurants in the area, but they're all pretty high end. We wanted to offer somewhere to come as you are. Watch a game and bring the whole family.”

Southern Ice Co. offers a Southern-style cuisine menu with a Cajun flair and full bar. In addition to traditional bar food, the bar's Southern twist includes key dishes, such as fried chicken, fried catfish and its Southern burger.

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere

With liquor sourced from local liquor store Twin Liquors, Southern Ice Co. offers draft beer, wine and a selection of craft cocktails. A few craft cocktails include the spicy margarita with jalapeno tequila, cucumber, pineapple, lime and Tajin seasoning on the rim; Backyard Lemonade made with crown peach and lemonade; and It's a Southern Thing, made with Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka, orange liqueur, lemon juice, cranberry and club soda.

Along with the bar, the location offers 19 flat-screen televisions for patrons to kick back and enjoy sports paired with Cajun-style cuisine.

“I've built my career on hospitality and taking care of people, and that's what we offer; we have a great staff, and that's what they do,” Mark Zientek said.