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Bert Wheeler Mansion On Buffalo Speedway


blue92

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Does any one know/remember the name of the private club that used to be on Buffalo Speedway north of S.Main on the east side on the street between Durhill St. and Elmridge St.? It's building were there from the early 50s to sometime around 1976. I think at one point it became someones private property. It had either a large swimming pool or a huge pond on the property. Here's a pic of the location off Google Earth 1953.

Picture12.png

In fact if you go to Google Earth you can still see where the property was.

Edited by blue92
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  • 2 weeks later...

That was Bert Wheeler's house. It was never a club.

I was thinking that was the location that was being referenced. It was a restaurant in its latter days. I was there one time ca. 1975-76 with a salesman from my radio station, trying to get an advertising schedule. Can't remember the name of the place but the owner did mention it had been Bert Wheeler's residence (of liquor store fame).

To digress a bit - the owner was bringing out dish after dish, showing off his menu. We were the only customers. I remember a thick filet, rare, and lobster tail. There was also tabouli, kind of unusual at a surf and turf restaurant. We were of course telling him how awesome everything was. I commented that the tabouli was so much better than the cellophane packs of makings for tabouli that you could buy in grocery stores which I had tried (are those still around?) which I said were a waste of money. He looked me straight in the eye and explained that those cellophane packages were his product and contained exactly the same ingredients as used at the restaurant. We got the account anyway but the restaurant was struggling, out-of-the-way from the developing foodie scene along lower Westheimer at that time, and didn't last much longer.

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I was thinking that was the location that was being referenced. It was a restaurant in its latter days. I was there one time ca. 1975-76 with a salesman from my radio station, trying to get an advertising schedule. Can't remember the name of the place but the owner did mention it had been Bert Wheeler's residence (of liquor store fame).

To digress a bit - the owner was bringing out dish after dish, showing off his menu. We were the only customers. I remember a thick filet, rare, and lobster tail. There was also tabouli, kind of unusual at a surf and turf restaurant. We were of course telling him how awesome everything was. I commented that the tabouli was so much better than the cellophane packs of makings for tabouli that you could buy in grocery stores which I had tried (are those still around?) which I said were a waste of money. He looked me straight in the eye and explained that those cellophane packages were his product and contained exactly the same ingredients as used at the restaurant. We got the account anyway but the restaurant was struggling, out-of-the-way from the developing foodie scene along lower Westheimer at that time, and didn't last much longer.

Wasn't the Dome Shadows Club somewhere on Buffalo Spdwy in that same general vicinity near the Astrodome? I think I remember sportswriter Mickey Herskowitz was one of people who bankrolled that club, to give baseball players and other jocks a place to hang out after a game.

Sometime in the early 70s, the Dome Shadows had the distinction of being the first club in Houston to get a license to sell mixed drinks to the general public after the legislature legalized liquor by the drink.

Remember those good old days? We had to take our own bottles of booze into non-private clubs and buy "set-ups" from the bar and mix our own drinks at our table. People under the age of 40 have no idea what I'm talking about and they probably think I'm crazy. In those days, Texas had a law banning "open saloons", and private clubs were the only places you could get a mixed drink.

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Wasn't the Dome Shadows Club somewhere on Buffalo Spdwy in that same general vicinity near the Astrodome? I think I remember sportswriter Mickey Herskowitz was one of people who bankrolled that club, to give baseball players and other jocks a place to hang out after a game.

Sometime in the early 70s, the Dome Shadows had the distinction of being the first club in Houston to get a license to sell mixed drinks to the general public after the legislature legalized liquor by the drink.

Dome Shadows was where Murworth dead ends on Buffalo Speedway, I think. Later became a *** bar. Dean Goss' Dinner Theater was in that area, too, I think. Never went to any of those.

I think Sonny Look's, right around the corner from the Wheeler place on S. Main @ 610, was closed by then, as was Gaido's Houston location, just up Main. If they were still open they were facing competition from a lot of new places and past their prime. Ditto for Kaphan's at Kirby and Main and Dentler's Pier 21 on Fannin @ Braeswood. Steak and Ale and Victoria Station had hit town; there was an S&A on OST, just east of the Main split.

I shouldn't have used the term 'foodie' above, nor indicated the restaurant explosion was just on lower Westheimer, although there was a lot going on down there. Besides Michangelo's, there was a place serving 'continental' cuisine right across from where Feast is now and the original location of Hungry International. In the 1500 block of Westheimer there was the Original Marini's Empanada House giving Houstonians their first taste of Argentinian food if not South American food in general and also Udder Delite, an ice cream place right next door and Ari's Grenouille a sidewalk French cafe on Westheimer @ Mandell, across Mandell from where Hugo's is now. And so on.

Ah, liquor by the drink. That and repealing Sunday blue laws were BIG DEALS back then.

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I started at Rice in 1980 and I remember some of that. I'm pretty sure Sonny Look's at 610 thrived until about 1985, Gaido's was gone by 1982 or so, Kaphan's and Dentler's hung un until the mid-80s also. I remember all the Westheimer places mentioned above. Valian's was gone by 1982 at the latest (pity) and Bill Williams was gone before I got there. Liquor by the drink was legal but the blue law didn't get repealed until 1984 or so, and yes, that was a very BIG DEAL.

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The Dome Shadows was in Buffalo Plaza Shopping Center, which was built about 1958. Murworth only existed west of Timberside back then, but that is where the segment between Main and Buffalo Speedway later dead-ended.

Sonny Look's was built in the old End Of Main Ballroom building which had been vacant for some time. No idea how long it lasted, I was long gone from Houston by then.

Bert Wheeler owned a lot of land in that area. He was the original owner of the Las Vegas and 29 Palms motels.

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  • 2 months later...

The Dome Shadows was in Buffalo Plaza Shopping Center, which was built about 1958. Murworth only existed west of Timberside back then, but that is where the segment between Main and Buffalo Speedway later dead-ended.

Sonny Look's was built in the old End Of Main Ballroom building which had been vacant for some time. No idea how long it lasted, I was long gone from Houston by then.

Bert Wheeler owned a lot of land in that area. He was the original owner of the Las Vegas and 29 Palms motels.

Dom Shadows didn't open in that shopping center until I was in high school. In that location was a hi-fi store before there was stereo. My dad bought all his hi-fi equipment there in the the late 50s. I bought my 1st transistor radio there when I was in junior high. There was a barber shop next to the Ward's grocery store on the north corner of the chopping center. The center was L shaped almost boomerang shaped. The corner of the center that faced Buffalo Speedway was a drug store that later became a cleaners.

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  • 6 years later...

Hello I'm new here and appreciate any help I can get with my inquiry.

 

I own this vintage neon star sign. I was told it was erected in 1952 at the top of the Bert Wheeler's sign at the Harrisburg location.

 

It's 7' tall 4' wide and 25" deep. Porcelain orange & white behind neon tubes.

 

I'm looking for any pictures to prove what I was told about it or any information someone may have.

 

Thank you.

!!neon1.jpg

!!neon3.jpg

!!neon2.jpg

!!neon4.jpg

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  • The title was changed to Bert Wheeler Mansion On Buffalo Speedway

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