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10 cool things about Houston in the 1980s


marmer

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  • 3 weeks later...

yeah... if the walls of the recently closed Lucky Village at Westheimer and Fountain View could talk, they would blow your mind... :)

1) the completion of many west side roads, ie, Wilcrest, Dairy Ashford

2) Cardi's

3) the explosive growth of Ft Bend County

4) Backstage

5) the Axiom

6) Judy's! I had forgotten about that place! My friends Carmen and Angela used to drag me there with them all the time

7) Dream Merchant!!! I bought most of the tools that lead to the wreckage that has become my life there- and I wouldn't change a thing!

8) Rockers, Struts, Corners, and the other rock clubs whose names I don't remember because they kinda mattered but really didn't!

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  • 5 weeks later...

Oooh, yeah, the Axiom! My husband played there with Necrotic Void!

Numbers, hanging out at KPFT during Musical Curfew with Jay Lee, meeting Oingo Boingo in the parking lot at the Tower before Elfman became Danny Hollywood, the Island, dancing on the roof above the marquee at the River Oaks Theater staff party, going to Marfreless and not seeing a baby stroller....

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  • 1 month later...

I can't think of anything in Houston that was "cool" in the 80's. I think that it pretty much sucked during that time.

Well, there was that All-you-can-eat Steak place out by Sharpstown Mall. What the hell was it called?

One of the all you can eat steak houses in Sharpstown was called "Billy Outlaw's" I sadly worked there for about 2 years while in High School.

other cool places in the 80's:

1) Rocksey (across from where Tootsies was in the Highland Village shopping area

2) driving south on US-59 and seeing nothing but fields past Sugar Creek. No developement at HWY6 and US59 at that time.

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One of the all you can eat steak houses in Sharpstown was called "Billy Outlaw's" I sadly worked there for about 2 years while in High School.

other cool places in the 80's:

1) Rocksey (across from where Tootsies was in the Highland Village shopping area

2) driving south on US-59 and seeing nothing but fields past Sugar Creek. No developement at HWY6 and US59 at that time.

1) They had an elaborate colorful light display over the dance floor. That place was quite popular. It was before Highland Village became 'upscale'.

2) I remember going to a party at some apartments out where the West Belt is now. The host took us out back where there was a big muddy field, and explained that one day the West Belt would go through there. It seemed odd since there wasn't much around.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

as a child of the 80's and 90's in Houston...i remember quite a lot of my childhood and a lot of places or events

in no particular order...

1. Rendez-vous Houston- who could forget that overcast night, but the beauty of the fireworks and lazer show. then the maddening traffic getting back to home along the freeways. I remember we didn't get home till almost 4:00 A.M.!!

2. Godfather's Pizza on Gessner @ Hammerly. always packed full of families enjoying pizza every day!

3. Levitz Furniture on I-10- Family bought every stick of furniture from that place for many years till they closed the store.

4. Hurricane Chantal AND Jerry of 1989- both storms kept me out of Horne Elementary for 2 days each. And both storms caused street flooding in the Jersey Acres neighborhood where i lived and ALL the neighborhood kids were riding our bikes thru the flood waters and our parents didn't care! we were out of the house out of their hair and having FUN and getting dirty!!

5. Deep Freeze/Snow of December 1989- as a kid worrying that we couldn't get to Beaumont for Christmas cuz the roads were still iced over in places. but it gave MOST Houstonians a free day off from work/school etc. although, those that did have to work, you have my ultimate respect and kudos! that was a horrible week in weather! but still cool. :)

6. Pancho's Mexican Buffet- my dad was the manager of the one on Longpoint for a few years from 85 to about 88-ish, till he hurt his back on the job and they screwed him over with workers comp. and my mom managed the small video rental place next door to it (Movie World). so i had free food and free movies during my childhood!! YAYYY!!

7. Computer Craft stores- bought our first Apple IIe from them and it was totally awesome (for the time). also i remember the TV commercials during that time...wish i could see them again.

8. Memorial City Mall- The Floppy Wizard, Fame City (later on), Monkey Wards and Whataburger in that tiny corner of the mall off of Wards...ahhh the memories. and that big ass fountain in the center that seemed to shoot up to the sun!!

9. Safeway Stores- NOT Appletree!! we always shopped at 2 Safeways. the one in Brookhollow shopping center off of 290, and then one on Gessner @ Hammerly before they remodeled the shopping center and moved it to the location where Kroger stands in the same center today.

10. Champs Buffet- the one around Mangum/Dacoma and the one off of I-10 by Service Merchandise.

10 and 1/2. Service Merchandise- Yeah, it was my first job in 1996 but as a kid i wanted to ride that conveyor belt...and i finally did my first day working there. When i transferred to the Baytown store i had to ride it UP and DOWN since it was a 2 level store...wasn't so pleasing that time! LOL

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  • 1 year later...

97 Rock KSRR

Astroworld

KILT 610 AM

KRBE when it was Power 104

Illegals were not running the streets

Sharpstown was still and ok neighborhood

Greenspoint Mall was a really cool mall

Woolworths, Gemco, Wackers, Minimax

Panjos and Shakey's Pizza

Texas Tapes and Records

Of course I only experienced these things in the summer when visiting my relatives in Kingwood. I moved to Houston in 91 and expecting things to be fun the way they were. Boy was I wrong. I hate this city and have not been able to escape yet.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I also remember the San Antone Rose on Voss and the Parlor near Fairview and Mandel maybe? It burned down.

Was the San Antone Rose in anyway connected to the management that later ran Fizz/Hippo/6400 at 6400 Richmond Ave?

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97 Rock KSRR

Astroworld

KILT 610 AM

KRBE when it was Power 104

Illegals were not running the streets

Sharpstown was still and ok neighborhood

Greenspoint Mall was a really cool mall

Woolworths, Gemco, Wackers, Minimax

Panjos and Shakey's Pizza

Texas Tapes and Records

Of course I only experienced these things in the summer when visiting my relatives in Kingwood. I moved to Houston in 91 and expecting things to be fun the way they were. Boy was I wrong. I hate this city and have not been able to escape yet.

lol

In what part of town are you? :)

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The top 20 best things about Houston in the 80s:

  1. Los Troncos Restaurant on Westheimer (now Marco's)
  2. The ORIGINAL Westheimer Art Festival
  3. The Rolling Stones at the Astrodome
  4. Elan
  5. Ninfa's on Navigation
  6. Midnight showings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Alabama Theater
  7. The San Jacinto Inn
  8. Confetti
  9. Urban Cowboy (stereotypes and all)
  10. the ORIGINAL Armando's on S. Shepherd (long before the socialite invasion, when Armando actually knew who you were)
  11. Watching Divine perform at #'s
  12. Cruising Westheimer on Fri. and Sat. night
  13. Mary's Biker Bar
  14. Cody's
  15. Boston Sea Party
  16. Margo's LaMode and Sakowitz
  17. Butera's Deli
  18. Jamails Grocery Store
  19. One's A Meal
  20. Gilley's

OH, and KLOL, Rock 101, 'Crash' in your dash!

Edited by marketingwiz
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10. The Astrodome

Eh, not really. Apart from being an engineering marvel for its time, the Astrodome was never really all that great a place to experience a sports event, especially baseball. Give me an outdoor stadium when the weather is nice any day.

9. Astroworld

I went a couple years before it closed, and it had gotten kind of shabby, and was a bit depressing to have to go through metal detectors to get in, but it is quite sad that Houston now no longer has an amusement park. And the loss of the antique Carousel was a travesty. I have so many great memories of Astroworld, I do miss it.

8. Neal's Ice Cream

Never went there.

7. Cactus Music, the big store

Yeah, that place was great

6. Full-scale opera and ballet performances at Miller Theatre. (and not ridiculously crowded)

I didn't realize they had stopped.

5. Easy, cheap parking everywhere

Yup

4. World Toy and Gift

Never went there.

3. San Jacinto Inn

Oh yeah. Even though Monument Inn serves similar food, it is nowhere near the experience the San Jacinto Inn was.

2. Gilley's

I am too young to have gone there, only know it through Urban Cowboy, but I've never felt like I was missing much.

1. River Oaks Theatre repertory movies

I am just glad the River Oaks is still around, that Weingarten hasn't leveled it. Revival houses in general died out, but I am glad to see Alamo Draft House starting to "revive" the revival house in a way.

Other things I miss:

The original James Coney Island on Walker

Sakowitz, both the downtown store and the Post Oak one. Great lunch rooms in both of them.

The Shamrock Hotel, including Trader Vic's

Jamail's Grocery Store

The Strawberry Patch - Pappa's "prototype" for the Mason Jar, but better.

Pino's

The Magic Pan

The Music Hall. Sure, the acoustics didn't compare to Jones, but it was a gorgeous art deco building

Harry's Kenya

Back when Greenspoint, Northwest, and Sharpstown were still decent malls. Also when Town and Country first opened

Steve Smith on Channel 11 News, and Ray Miller doing Eyes of Texas on Channel 2

In Galveston:

Tuffy's

The Water Wall

Hill's on the Seawall

Hill's Pier 19

Edited by Reefmonkey
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Eh, not really. Apart from being an engineering marvel for its time, the Astrodome was never really all that great a place to experience a sports event, especially baseball. Give me an outdoor stadium when the weather is nice any day.

I went a couple years before it closed, and it had gotten kind of shabby, and was a bit depressing to have to go through metal detectors to get in, but it is quite sad that Houston now no longer has an amusement park. And the loss of the antique Carousel was a travesty. I have so many great memories of Astroworld, I do miss it.

Never went there.

Yeah, that place was great

I didn't realize they had stopped.

Yup

Never went there.

Oh yeah. Even though Monument Inn serves similar food, it is nowhere near the experience the San Jacinto Inn was.

I am too young to have gone there, only know it through Urban Cowboy, but I've never felt like I was missing much.

I am just glad the River Oaks is still around, that Weingarten hasn't leveled it. Revival houses in general died out, but I am glad to see Alamo Draft House starting to "revive" the revival house in a way.

Other things I miss:

The original James Coney Island on Walker

Sakowitz, both the downtown store and the Post Oak one. Great lunch rooms in both of them.

The Shamrock Hotel, including Trader Vic's

Jamail's Grocery Store

The Strawberry Patch - Pappa's "prototype" for the Mason Jar, but better.

Pino's

The Magic Pan

The Music Hall. Sure, the acoustics didn't compare to Jones, but it was a gorgeous art deco building

Harry's Kenya

Back when Greenspoint, Northwest, and Sharpstown were still decent malls. Also when Town and Country first opened

Steve Smith on Channel 11 News, and Ray Miller doing Eyes of Texas on Channel 2

In Galveston:

Tuffy's

The Water Wall

Hill's on the Seawall

Hill's Pier 19

Was Harry's Kenya that place on Louisiana across from the Alley Theater?

Never went to Trader Vics, but we did occasionally hang out at the Shamrock bar. Great place.

What I mainly remember about the Music Hall is hard, uncomfortable seats!

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OK, this stimulated some fun memories, so I have to jump in, too.

James Coney Island on Walker ─ I also miss this. Was that in the old Texaco building or next door? In any case, the original opened in 1923, not too long after Nathan’s opened in Coney Island in 1916. I always wondered if the founding Papadakis brothers were inspired by seeing Nathan’s upon arriving from Greece to NYC. From the 60s, I recall accompanying my neighbor on a mission all the way downtown from west Houston to pick up chili-cheese dogs for all. The seating consisted of individual wooden chairs with attached mini-desktops, like 50s-era kids used in school ─ not so convenient for eating. I remember being disappointed when they stopped using solid cheese and started using liquefied cheese squirted from a gun. For many years, they sold their chili in frozen-brick form.

Sakowitz, both the downtown store and the Post Oak one ─ visited both often, but I don’t recall eating there. I do have many memories of eating at the snack bar in the basement of Foley’s. Hot dogs, as I recall … good, but not as good as JCI.

The Shamrock Hotel, including Trader Vic's ─ I think we took visiting relatives to TV, but was too little to remember much. Later, the same relatives took us to the TV in Hollywood, which was great fun.

The Magic Pan ─ this was a national chain, kind of a novelty at the time, but I guess crepes were a passing fad. I remember eating at the one in The Galleria and also in Aspen CO in the 70s.

The Music Hall ─ I remember it having roof leaks and equipment failures. My earliest memory is being sent with my sister (an opera fan) to see Faust and falling asleep. Later, I saw a pop singer (Ronstadt, I think) whose performance was interrupted when the sound went out.

Sharpstown Mall ─ anyone remember the diorama of Texas history? Another cool thing I remember seeing there was Chrysler’s turbine-powered “car of the future” … which when starting, sounded like a jet preparing for take-off.

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Only thing I really remember from sharpstown mall was they had a Lego expo, and the food court, I recall they used to have throwaway aluminum ash trays on the tables.

Probably already mentioned (maybe even by me) pipe organ pizza at memorial city mall.

The chuck e cheese on bissonnet, they used to give tokens for video games for a good report card, or maybe my parents just told me that to try and get me to do my homework...

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ok forgive me because I was born in 76 so I was truly a child of the 80's bad hair, clothes, everything. We lived off Reveille/35 just outside the loop very near Gulfgate mall. My world was pretty small then, so here is what I recall as cool in Houston at the time for me.

1. Astroworld - back in it's prime.

2. Gulfgate Mall - cool things. The bowling alley under the mall. The Vision Street Wear store. the theater with the pedestrian bridge over 610.

3. NASA - was a cool tour back then before they built SCH.

4. Stewart Beach in Galveston.

5. Putt Putt and Supertrack on I-45 south - arcade!

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  • 5 weeks later...

Hanging out at Woolworth's magazine rack downtown in the late 80's. and having cheescake or hot chocolate with my dad there a bit earlier.

The public library downtown

That laser light show with Jean Micheal Jarre. My family and I watched it from atop the Pierce elevated, which had become a giant parking lot lol.

The display of Santas from around the world on the uppler level of Foley's downtown. Also watching the fashions change with the seasons in the window displays.

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Was Harry's Kenya that place on Louisiana across from the Alley Theater?

Never went to Trader Vics, but we did occasionally hang out at the Shamrock bar. Great place.

What I mainly remember about the Music Hall is hard, uncomfortable seats!

In the late 80's, Harry's Kenya was in the Smith Street parking garage that serves 1100 Louisiana, where Massa's is now.

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In the late 80's, Harry's Kenya was in the Smith Street parking garage that serves 1100 Louisiana, where Massa's is now.

Back in the 80's my dad was the piano player at Harry's Kenya. I remember it having shiny brass/gold animals sculpted on the front. Very pretty!

I also miss:

going to shopping malls

Fayva Footware (better than Payless imo lol)

Going to Guys Newstand with my dad and buying comic books : D

Kapans on S.Main with my Godmother

St. Michelle's on Richmond @ Chimney Rock (my dad played piano there too and would let me tag along sometimes)

Looking for the Turtle under the bridge at Bell Park in Montrose.

Wading through the muck at the Herman Park pond to feed the ducks scraps of bread. That place used to be icky lol.

Edited by Anj
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  • 3 weeks later...

Westguy, I'm going to reply like this . Every one of the places you mentioned were also frequented by me an yer parents . I once owned a small Custom van accessory manufacturing business up off North Freeway. I have just spent probably the last half hour just reminessing my own life and times there . Hey, you happen to have been born in a very transitory time in the life of the "Cement Swamp " as i used to an still do call Houston. Saddly, I had to leave Houston in 1883. I wound up in Dallas trying to hang onto a hard fought dream , ( my business ). The same real estate blows then spread all over Texas , like a plauge .

personally, I'd love to return , if even just for a week end to see what became of my adapted "Home " . Saddly, because of questionable health , that's no longer possible .............It's people like you who help me stay connected . THANK YOU ! scrubba

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Zeke's on Kirby

Hanging out on my motorcycle at Wendys on the Westheimer curve on the weekends

Cruising/street racing on Westheimer

Leo's TexMex

Marini's

River Oaks midnight movies

Hamburgers by Gourmet

Mothers Po-Boys on Richmond

Transco Fountain (before everyone found out about it)

Metropol on Waugh (every fri-sat night was a scene out of Miami VIce)

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

That was Che's, I think.

 

Che (there should be an acute accent over the 'e') was a very nice restaurant on the ground floor of the hotel at the corner of Montrose and Berthea. The main entrance was on the Montrose side of the building. I took a date there in the late 70's and she was completely impressed (we were very young). IIRC we had rack of lamb for two. Reservations were required. When we arrived there was a matchbook at the table with the restaurant's logo on on one side and my last name on the other.

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  • 2 months later...

We will be travelling back to Houston this week for some reminiscing.  Does anyone remember the location where Confetti's was?  Also, does anyone remember an upscale disco near Greens Road?  

 

Confetti was in the Galleria area south of the mall on Alabama. It was where the Roxy is located now.

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  • 1 month later...

oh the 80s in houston. such great memories. cool things were the champs on 290 and bingle(i worked there). eating at sals pizza, . going to the dome for oilers games, astroworld, klol, 97 rock( mr moby) remember when kilt was rock? kikk radio. all the great newspeople who kept us informed every night. so many things from that time period. too bad houston isnt the same any more.

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  • 2 years later...

The San Antonio Rose

Harlow's

Slick Willie's on Westheimer

The Texas Opry House on Richmond

Goofy's Game Room on Buffalo Spwy.

Rockefeller's, Fitzgerald's and Leo's Mexican restaurant in the Heights

Kay's Lounge on Richmond

Studebaker's

Westheimer Art Festival

Anton's

The Bavarian Beer Gardens

Kay's is still there (although its always been on Bissonet near Kirby), and the beer is just as cold!

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The San Antonio Rose

Harlow's

Slick Willie's on Westheimer

The Texas Opry House on Richmond

Goofy's Game Room on Buffalo Spwy.

Rockefeller's, Fitzgerald's and Leo's Mexican restaurant in the Heights

Kay's Lounge on Richmond

Studebaker's

Westheimer Art Festival

Anton's

The Bavarian Beer Gardens

 

Harlow's was the place to go after an evening at Cooters!

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