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Bars and clubs in the 70's


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Barbary Coast... Bonaparte's Retreat...

 

It's a very good thing that there are no photos of skinny, long haired me in my disco era finery pounding down tequila sunrises at those places. :ph34r:ūüēļ

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On 9/9/2013 at 6:27 PM, matty1979 said:

I was curious what the bar scene was like back in the 70's around Houston. Was the ever a place similar to Studio 54 in town?

Also where there ever "singles bars"? What were they like and if anyone has any funny or interesting stories I would love to hear them!

It was slow to develop.  Liquor by the drink was still unavailable wink wink .  You had to be a "member" of the club and you did so by signing a card that cost you nothing and bingo you were a member of a private club that Police Chief Herman Short could not touch.

 

I didn't see anyone mention The Peanut.  I remember they had this huge Confederate flag tacked on the wall and peanut shells all over the floor. 

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4 hours ago, SkierJim7 said:

Moving further South. Diamondback Saloon (Kenny Stabler's joint), Hogan's and J. Larking in Clear Lake and UP's (on top of Jimmie Walker's)in Kemah. 

In 1984, a couple of coworkers were busted at Diamondback for public intoxication. They were trying to go in to meet some other work folks, and the off duty cops wouldn't let them in because they were wasted. When the others walked out, one of the coworkers said to the cops "I told you we were meeting friends here, I bet you feel like a real dick now". About 30 microseconds later, the two were in handcuffs headed for downtown. Good times.

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Anybody who was single in Houston during the 70's and 80's should remember Lance McFaddin. Sadly, he passed away last week.  He and  his partners developed Todd's, elan, Confetti, Cowboy, RnR, Studebaker's, and the Ocean Club…"just to name a few." I spent a lot of time in those places, and had a blast!

 

Lance McFaddin obituary

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The Rubiat, where I met my wife of 40+ years, and where we did the four corners to KC and The Sunshine Gang till the wee hours.  Also, how about Scene West out Westheimer?  Lighted plexiglass dance floor.  State of the art club at the time.  

 

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Anybody remember a club on Hawthorne Street in Montrose? From Westheimer you turned right on Montrose Blvd and then left on Hawthorne and it was on the right. It was a house converted into a club. Saw Dr. Rockit and others there in the late 70's and early 80's.

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In high school in the early seventies, my friend Eddie Benson who's father owned the Cedar Lounge...we would go there in the afternoon's to see the action. It is true unhappy lonely housewives would go there to hookup with someone to pass the afternoon away. It was hugely popular for the ladies to smoke and drink and carry on there gossip with like minded friends. It was dark and misty with smoke and laughter. I didn't frequent the place but several times. Sitting at the bar, I could see the bobbing heads and excided exxpressions of guys in pure ecstacy Yuk! But I was still a kid!!! Later one time when the SuperBowl was here in Houston, players from the Miami Dolphins..Larry Csonka, Mercury Morris and other players came for a party. It was cool to see them and shaking hands with these guys. I do not believe they got any ladies there but perhaps they did in there limos parked outside! Yes the ladies did come. One time the gay bartender at the Cedar Lounge had to bail out Eddie and I and some friends from another bar..Gunny's Shack for Public Intoxication. The owner of the Cedar Lounge lived nearby. It was really fun in those days and the rumors were true...you could get anything you want at (Alice's restaurant)....ummm the Cedar Lounge.

Does anyone remember the Gunny's Shack in Spring?

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Anybody here remember the Four Palms?  The Four Palms was a neighborhood bar on Telephone Road just south of Holmes Rd, which is now the South Loop 610. It was locally famous (infamous?) in the 50s, 60s and 70s for being what was then called a "pressure cooker club".

 

It was like a singles bar, except everybody was married to somebody else and nobody cared. Lonely and bored housewives went there during the day whilst their husbands were at work, and the joke was that they kept dinner warm at home in a pressure cooker, hence the club's nickname. The ladies were there to meet their boyfriends, or just have a good time with anybody who showed up.

 

Most of the time it was just for drinks and dancing, but the lighting was kept low enough for some making out, for those so inclined. It was common to see a man come in the front door, hear a woman's voice say "oh my god it's my husband" and then see her slipping quickly out the back door. Lord only knows how many divorces, and new marriages, can be traced to that place.

 

Ah yes. Those were the days. I confess I went there a few times, during my misspent divorced period in the early 70s. Met some great ladies and I've always wondered whatever became of them. I also wonder how many of today's 30 and 40 somethings grew up eating those pressure cooked dinners prepared by moms who spent their afternoons at The Four Palms. 

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On 1/13/2020 at 12:06 AM, Willard said:

Anybody remember a club on Hawthorne Street in Montrose? From Westheimer you turned right on Montrose Blvd and then left on Hawthorne and it was on the right. It was a house converted into a club. Saw Dr. Rockit and others there in the late 70's and early 80's.

I remember it. Can't think of the name, though. I saw Gary P. Nunn there ( he wrote "London Homesick Blues"). It must have been 1979 or thereabouts. I used to live within walking distance, on Garrott St near W. Alabama.

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On 9/7/2019 at 8:17 PM, Dancin Queen said:

I think I read that someone on here used to be a bartender at Todd's in the 1970s - next to TGIFridays in Windsor Plaza. I'm trying to find a matchbook fromTodd's - anyone have any ideas?

 

 

Todd's was a singles bar, with lots of wood paneling and indoor plants, a typical "fern bar". There were backgammon boards and high-stakes games. Backgammon was big in the mid to late 70s.

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On 9/23/2017 at 8:08 AM, texianjoe said:

 

Also there was Cooters, Roxy's, the Rubiat, Tuesdays, The Crazy Bannana, and one I cannot remember the name at the moment but it was on the westbound side of Wertheimer around

Fondren area.  It was two stories and in the middle of an apartment complex.

 The Barbary Coast

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Hit the club scene pretty hard 71 to 79, especially during the foosball days, several clubs had tables.

Here is an abbreviated list

Uncle Sam's - Houston and Pasadena

Orbit Room - Hobby area

Nessadel - Pasadena

Goldfarb Apartment clubs

       Willow Creek

       Cherry Hill (?)

       Napoleons Retreat (?)

Dome Shadows

The Cellar - Market Square

The Turtle Club-

Second Office

Smuggler's Inn

Rusty Bucket

Diamond Back

Arlington Square Club

Was a disco club down street from Uncle Sam's in Pasadena - cannot remember name

Yesterday Once More

South of the Border or maybe On the Border - Hobby area

 

These were the most frequented ones especially the Arlington Square Club with Wooden Leg cover band, was a target rich environment

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Wasn't that at Liberty Hall?

 

The Liberty Hall shows were a huge deal for the Springsteen band guys- they still talk about it today. When I was waiting to meet Pink Floyd's lighting designer Marc Brickman, who was with Springsteen at the time, I was next to someone from the E-Street Band. They reminisced about Liberty Hall.

(Me meeting Brickman would be like a guitar player meeting Eddie Van Halen)

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i lived in montrose on kipling during the early 70s. my main hangout was slugs but don't remember what street it was on. big 3 story house with a backyard. first floor was bar and dance floor, second and third was foosball and air hockey really cool place. also damiens, the palace, liberty hall. another cool place with live music was miss irenes in the heights. it was a smaller size house turned into a bar. not sure but i think it might have been on studemont. 

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In southeast Houston (on South Richey Street) was a rock club called the Cactus Club.  I understand it opened in 1960 (perhaps as a Country & western venue) and became a rock club around 1974, featuring local & national rock acts.  Does anyone else have any more history on its origins?  I am creating a photo video of some of the bands and patrons from the Cactus Club of the 70's.  I also plan on touching on the history of the venue. 

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On 10/2/2017 at 10:34 AM, msteele6 said:

 

Maybe Napoleon's Retreat at the West Point Apartments??

It was Bonaparte's Retreat at the Napolean Square Apartments. I lived there for a year. 1979.  It was across the street from The Orchard Club at the Orchard Apartments. 

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My favorite in the late 70’s was the Ocean Club, several stories, many dance floors, dancing with girlfriends, getting free drinks and roses. Up scale clientele, great music and visual!! 

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On 2/11/2020 at 6:26 PM, PeterG said:

 

It was on Winrock half a block north of Westheimer. The name was Genesis. Nowadays it's a "gentlemen's club".

Does anyone remember the Red Baron gentleman’s club on Richmond?  1976

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On 8/26/2014 at 10:13 AM, Purpledevil said:

That's the way I've always heard it too. Another "pressure cooker" club like this is the old "Name Dropper" on Yale, just before Parker Rd. We used to live two blocks away from this little doozy, and our neighbor catty corner from us used to get dressed up in her little tight pants and heels, sache down the street around 11am, then come running back home around 3:30-4, ditch the get up, and be outside to greet her husband in the driveway donning a pair of sweat pants and tennis shoes, when he inevitably showed up at home around 5. My wife caught this going on daily, after we first moved to Parkway in the 90s, got me to start paying attention, then it continued until they subsequently divorced and moved out of the house. Gee, I wonder why?

You never have to worry about the Name Dropper wrecking any more marriages, though. Caught fire and burned to the ground in the early 2000's, only the neon sign remained afterwards. With the widening of Yale last year, even that relic has been removed. There's very little trace of the ol' Dropper left now.

Sounds like your wife sure knew allot about this place. Are you sure she was not visiting it too?

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On 5/7/2020 at 11:54 AM, hbcu said:

I have a book of clubs from the late 70s and early 80s. A lot started in the loop and made their way out to the suburbs by then 

 

 

 

What was the club in the 8300-8500 block of Bellaire in the late 70's that was a C&W bar

 

 

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19 minutes ago, trymahjong said:

Was there ever a bar across fromKPFT on Lovett ¬†that had a ‚Äúprison‚ÄĚ type name?

Are you talking about the house that was at one time Baja Sam's and later Mother's? 
I don't recall a name like that, but a prison-themed bar would be appropriate, as Ray Hill had his "Prison Program" at KPFT for many years.

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On 7/8/2021 at 9:29 AM, dbigtex56 said:

Are you talking about the house that was at one time Baja Sam's and later Mother's? 
I don't recall a name like that, but a prison-themed bar would be appropriate, as Ray Hill had his "Prison Program" at KPFT for many years.

I found out the clubs name was ‚ÄúAttica‚Ä̂Ķ‚Ķ ring any bells?

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