P.O.'s Ice House recently reopened in a historic Cypress building, thanks to the combined efforts of longtime Houston restaurant owners. Serving up top-quality bourbons, delectable bar food, cocktails and featuring an extensive beer selection, the restaurant introduces a new vibe to the clientele of its sister restaurant Creekwood Grill.

Embracing its nostalgic setting within the landmark building, P.O.'s Ice House seamlessly intertwines tradition and innovation, creating an extraordinary environment exclusively for those age 21 and up. Its vibrant and energetic atmosphere positions it as the ultimate adult playground.

Meanwhile, Creekwood Grill has solidified its standing as one of the premier family destinations in Cypress, offering an extensive range of options to cater to visitors of all ages, guaranteeing an enjoyable experience for the entire family.

Five years ago, Brian Sandel joined forces with Backyard Grill owner Mark McShaffry to establish Creekwood Grill. P.O.'s Ice House is their newest venture, leveraging a combined 50+ years of industry expertise.

The history behind P.O.’s Ice House

The building housing P.O.'s boasts a remarkable history, tracing back to its original construction in the 1940s, about a mile north of its current location. Over time, it has served multiple purposes, including serving as a grocery and feed store known as Rippers.

In the late 1970s, Philip Dahl relocated and revamped the building, establishing P.O.’s as one of the first-ever restaurants in Cypress. Positioned conveniently near Cy-Fair High School, P.O.’s became a beloved haunt for students, hosting team parties and fostering lasting memories for many.

The property changed hands in 2015 and the building underwent a transformation to serve as an additional Shack location. Sandel and McShaffry purchased the operation in 2018, but did not utilize the old P.O.’s part of the property until this year, when it was meticulously remodeled to recapture its former glory and emerge anew as the new P.O.'s Icehouse.

“We have this space that we're not doing anything with, and we kept hearing from a segment of our clientele that they wanted a space that was a little more subdued than Creekwood, so we built a playground for adults. We remodeled the building and gave it a cool, warm feel while still paying tribute to the history of the building,” Sandel said. “We are writing our chapter in this building that is now over 80 years old and has been where it is sitting right now for over 40 years.”

Earlier this year Sandel contacted Dahl to discuss their plans of transforming the building into a bar and sought permission to use the name P.O.'s once again. Dahl responded with an email expressing his joy and gratitude, remarking how wonderful it was to see his father's name being preserved.

Revitalizing the beloved venue

With meticulous attention to detail, the owners have revitalized P.O.’s, honoring its historical roots, salvaging the original 80-year-old oak flooring, while introducing fresh elements. The bar is adorned with 100-year-old stamped tin reclaimed from a home on Galveston Island and topped with reclaimed barn planks that are nearly as old. Sandel acknowledged the profound emotional significance that people of different generations attach to this venue.

"[P.O.’s] is my happy place because it's such a cool room. This is a great space and has a great vibe,” Sandel said. “Sitting in here, you can feel the history, and so during crazy busy shifts at Creekwood, I often sneak over here for a moment or two for a recharge and then go back to working.”

Fueled by a deep sense of responsibility, the team approached any proposed changes with the utmost care, ensuring the preservation of P.O.'s cherished legacy.

“Everybody that comes in, they love it. The feedback so far has been tremendous. It doesn't look at all like the old P.O.’s did. We're just writing our chapter in the story of this building. That's all we're doing and hopefully we're not the last chapter,” Sandel said. “We wanted our chapter of the story of this building to be as meaningful to the community as the ones before.”

For further details about P.O.'s Ice House or Creekwood Grill, visit their website or stop by 12710 Telge Road, Cypress.

The above story was produced by Holly Galvan with Community Impact's Storytelling team with information solely provided by the local business as part of their "sponsored content" purchase through our advertising team. Our integrity promise to our readers is to clearly identify all CI Storytelling posts so they are separate from the content decided upon, researched and written by our journalism department.