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Star Sailor HTX – Legends Never Die

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Star Sailor HTX – Legends Never Die

 

They say legends never die. At least The Babe did in The Sandlot. In the Houston craft beer scene, Marin Slanina just so happens to be a legend. 

 

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Star Sailor HTX Where Legends Live

She first made a splash in our area as Operations Manager at B52 Brewing, transforming their social media presence and developing a killer, TV and movie-themed lineup of beers. She then moved south to open Urban South HTX, Houston’s first out-of-town brewery.

Well, like an imperial stout aging in a bourbon barrel, things change.

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It’s become pretty well known that we don’t do rumors around these parts, so we asked straight up: What happened at Urban South?

“Justin and I separated before USHTX even opened its doors – having guests in the space was a really great distraction until there was none (due to the full shut down). In May, it was decided to part ways professionally as well,” explained Marin.

Following that, you may have seen her hustling at other local breweries while her next moves were brewed up. Saint Arnold, Holler, Great Heights, Southern Yankee, and Sigma (now Equal Parts) were all graced by her presence.

After some ideas fermented for a bit, it was time to go solo for the first time in the business world.

Her newest adventure is Star Sailor HTX, located at W 18th St. and Ella in The Heights.

Just a stone’s throw from Eureka Heights and New Magnolia, and right across from Hughies, Google categorizes it as a “beer hall,” but it’s so much more than that.

 

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According to Marin, Star Sailor is “a one-stop shop to take care of your needed tasks in a day.” Offering draft beer, bottled drinks and wine, food, a retail shop, and even kegs to-go, there is literally something for everyone.

But where did that name come from?

It’s technically the Greek translation for “astronaut,” but we know there’s more behind it than that.

“It was a question on ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ When I heard it, I immediately thought of a mermaid in space swimming towards a pirate ship. How sexy does that sound? Then it went far into the dark depths of the ocean to the dark depths of space and all the creatures that cohabitate in each,” Marin told us.

If you’re more of a visual person, another Houston legend and friend of Beer Chronicle, Nicky Davis, did a mural on the side of their building.

If you’ve ever met Marin, you know that creating a fun and chill vibe is a top priority for her. Star Sailor offers a wide variety of beverages, including non-alcoholic. But liquor isn’t in the picture. It’s a place to hang, not to get wasted.

Another aspect this sole proprietor is known for is her connections. She knows EVERYBODY, and it shows via her tap wall and in her coolers.

When selecting brews to sell, Marin looks for “really good beer and full style variety.” You’ll find lagers, stouts, sours, and obviously hazies.

Her selection contains some bomb-ass beers that you wouldn’t normally expect to find at a brand new establishment.

Say, Marin, how do you do it?

“Talking to people and calling in all my connections in the beverage community. I have now been working in the food and beverage industry for 11 years, and you know me, I talk to everyone! Now I am calling in those favors to get my portfolio on point and keep it growing.”

But the awesomeness isn’t just limited to the beer menu. Her staff is more loaded than the 1991-92 Bulls.

 

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“With this new project, I am able to work with so many talented folks trying to make their dreams come true. David Flores, my right hand and ‘Chef’ as you will, came across my feed, making his Birria Tacos out of his home kitchen. Since his Southern Star sales reps days, I’ve known him and offered him the opportunity to create his menu items in a licensed kitchen space creating the menu items for the restaurant. From there, the talent has just grown, and we are looking for more!”

Despite opening during COVID, the community response has been incredible.

“The community has been nothing but supportive in this endeavor. It has been so wonderful,” said Marin.

Special events, parties, and even a beer release have already taken place at the new business. There is always something poppin’ off at Star Sailor.

So, what’s next?

Be on the lookout for new food items, retail items, beer, and wine pairings, and products created right there in the building.

“I am only one TABC license away from actually brewing at this location and only a couple more steps away from carrying the TABC Distributor permit. So you never know, maybe that will happen over here at Star Sailor sooner rather than later.”

Whoa. Can we already get in line for cans?

And we don’t blame her for missing brewing. We certainly do.

But wait, there’s more!

 

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The current location is a humble 2,000 sq. ft. but there are plans to expand and add more locations. The “one-roof” concept will be the backbone of the entire operation. With a “full kitchen, retail shop w/ beer, wine, and local artisan gifts, gift basket creation with delivery options, taproom service, event space, brunch location, etc.,” all in one spot, why go anywhere else?

“Third time’s the charm” is another applicable quote for Marin. The future for any business showing immediate success is always bright.

“It has been so humbling to see this dream of mine come to a reality and witness its intended purpose working – bringing kick-ass people together to have a great time.”

We couldn’t agree more, and once again, neither could The Babe:

“Follow your heart kid, and you can never go wrong.”

See y’all out at Star Sailor soon. Beers to you, Houston.


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Brent Topa
brent.topa@beerchronicle.com

Brent is originally from Ohio but has been in Houston for over 10 years. As an Aggie, musician, animal advocate, and Lego collector, he always has something going on. If you have an imperial stout, come find him. He'll want to add it to his insatiable beer spreadsheet.

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