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Historic Houston Clubs


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There used to be a dance hall/pool room just south of the Hobby Airport and north of Almeda Genoa on Telephone road in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but I understand it was burned down. Does anyone have any information on the name or history on it? It has a lot of good memories for me and my family. Thanks.

 

I know I'm a day late and a dollar short but it was called Max's on the Border.  It was between where Almeda dead ends into Telephone and starts again a block further south.

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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.

 

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

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The Official Preppy Handbook (published 1980) has a section on "where the preps are" each day of the week in several cities across the country, including Houston, and gives some good insight into Houston's bar scene in the late 70s. I was born in 1976, so I don't remember any of this, but below each entry from OPH I give a "where are they now" update as best as I can:

 

Monday

Roscoe’s Cafe & Jazzbar. 3230 Chimney Rock. Live Jazz, big name performers, Backgammon tables.

I never went to Roscoe’s and I don’t ever remember hearing about it. Now it’s a digital printing center.

Tuesday

Butera’s. 5019 Montrose. Deli, very casual, with millions of different beers. The place to be seen, but closes early at 8 p.m.

Butera’s had phenomenal sandwiches. My favorite was one with roasted portobella mushroom and red pepper slices. They were still open at least into the early 2000s, but have been closed for several years now.

Wednesday

St. Michel. 2150 Richmond. Jazz, very sophisticated atmosphere.

I never went there, never heard of it. It looks like now there is a fairly new building in that location filled with doctors offices.

Thursday

Kay’s Lounge. 2324 Bissonnet. Neighborhood bar with game room. Relaxed.

Ah Kays, I’ve been there several times, as has my wife, it’s one of many places in Houston we figured we probably just missed meeting each other before we finally met. My wife ended up stuck there during Tropical Storm Allison when her car got flooded in the street, two years before we met. This was also a favorite hangout of longtime Channel 13 ABC affiliate evening anchorman Dave Ward. It only closed last year (2016), and I think the building is still there and nothing has reopened in it yet.

Friday

The Hofbrau. 1803 Shepherd. Texas roadhouse for steaks and heavy imbibation. Fraternity hangout.

The Hofbrau is still there, I went a few times in the late 90s. It lost its cache, though in the mid 90s when Tilman Fertitta of Landry’s Restaurants chain bought it and turned it into a nationwide chain. That man is much despised here in the Houston area.

Saturday

The Cadillac Bar. 1802 Shepherd. Roast quail at this bar /restaurant. Famous for its Ramos Gin Fizzes.

The Cadillac Bar is still there, across the street from the Hofbrau, and it endured the exact same fate, also bought by the Landry’s group and its concept taken nationwide.

Sunday

Cody’s. 3400 Montrose. Top floor (10th) with great view. Key spot. Good jazz, dress code.

When I was young and single in the late 90s, early 00s, this location was called Scott Gertner’s Sky Bar, but other than that it was pretty much as described by the OPH. I took a lot of dates there, because you could step out of the bar and onto a patio on the 10th floor with great views to downtown, the Medical Center, etc. Dates that stopped there always went very well, if you know what I mean. Unfortunately, the bar closed maybe 10 years ago, and the building was razed. It’s now a luxury apartment highrise.

 

Also, when I moved back to Houston after college in 1998, I lived in the old Westpoint Apartments on Westheimer and Fondren. My parents laughed that I lived there, because they remembered going to parties there when they first moved to Houston, young and childless, in the early 70s. They talked about there being a nightclub right there at the apartment complex called Barbary Coast.

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  • The Official Preppy Handbook (published 1980) has a section on "where the preps are" each day of the week in several cities across the country, including Houston, and gives some good insight into Houston's bar scene in the late 70s. I was born in 1976, so I don't remember any of this, but below each entry from OPH I give a "where are they now" update as best as I can:

 

Monday

Roscoe’s Cafe & Jazzbar. 3230 Chimney Rock. Live Jazz, big name performers, Backgammon tables.

I never went to Roscoe’s and I don’t ever remember hearing about it. Now it’s a digital printing center.

Tuesday

Butera’s. 5019 Montrose. Deli, very casual, with millions of different beers. The place to be seen, but closes early at 8 p.m.

Butera’s had phenomenal sandwiches. My favorite was one with roasted portobella mushroom and red pepper slices. They were still open at least into the early 2000s, but have been closed for several years now.

Wednesday

St. Michel. 2150 Richmond. Jazz, very sophisticated atmosphere.

I never went there, never heard of it. It looks like now there is a fairly new building in that location filled with doctors offices.

Thursday

Kay’s Lounge. 2324 Bissonnet. Neighborhood bar with game room. Relaxed.

Ah Kays, I’ve been there several times, as has my wife, it’s one of many places in Houston we figured we probably just missed meeting each other before we finally met. My wife ended up stuck there during Tropical Storm Allison when her car got flooded in the street, two years before we met. This was also a favorite hangout of longtime Channel 13 ABC affiliate evening anchorman Dave Ward. It only closed last year (2016), and I think the building is still there and nothing has reopened in it yet.

Friday

The Hofbrau. 1803 Shepherd. Texas roadhouse for steaks and heavy imbibation. Fraternity hangout.

The Hofbrau is still there, I went a few times in the late 90s. It lost its cache, though in the mid 90s when Tilman Fertitta of Landry’s Restaurants chain bought it and turned it into a nationwide chain. That man is much despised here in the Houston area.

Saturday

The Cadillac Bar. 1802 Shepherd. Roast quail at this bar /restaurant. Famous for its Ramos Gin Fizzes.

The Cadillac Bar is still there, across the street from the Hofbrau, and it endured the exact same fate, also bought by the Landry’s group and its concept taken nationwide.

Sunday

Cody’s. 3400 Montrose. Top floor (10th) with great view. Key spot. Good jazz, dress code.

When I was young and single in the late 90s, early 00s, this location was called Scott Gertner’s Sky Bar, but other than that it was pretty much as described by the OPH. I took a lot of dates there, because you could step out of the bar and onto a patio on the 10th floor with great views to downtown, the Medical Center, etc. Dates that stopped there always went very well, if you know what I mean. Unfortunately, the bar closed maybe 10 years ago, and the building was razed. It’s now a luxury apartment highrise

 

Also, when I moved back to Houston after college in 1998, I lived in the old Westpoint Apartments on Westheimer and Fondren. My parents laughed that I lived there, because they remembered going to parties there when they first moved to Houston, young and childless, in the early 70s. They talked about there being a nightclub right there at the apartment complex called Barbary Coast.

 

Sorry, this website is acting really buggy today, I go to post or edit, and it tells me I can't, but then posts anyway, and I then try again before realizing it's now double posted.

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LMAO..I just by chance happened to land on this thread....I am an expert child of the 60's on this topic.    In the early 70's there were country bars and then there were honky tonks...    Houston has several of both but the most notable was the Fools Gold Club way out on the West side, out Westheimer, it was live music every night and the hopping place for country bars for many years.  For honkey tonks there's none bigger than my beloved Gilley's...I was there the day Sherwood shut her down.  We all cried.   It was an example of the excesses of the 80's in the end...especially in the glowing light of the movie, for a glorious while, it not only created the Urban Cowboy craze, but they rode it harder than a mechanical bull for the few short years it lasted.  Sherwood plowed the money into Gilliey's..  Leon Beck can probably talk to it better than me. It simply grew too big, and then Sherwood screwed Johnny Lee out of his road money. It started over Johnny wanting to buy some land after he married Charlene and then his band and Gilley's band reacted badly when they could not get paid, which started Gilley's imploding fast.   Big Tin Ban off Huffmeister was another great dance hall. There were also Saturday Night live music dances at the "Crosby Stomp" at the American Legion on 2100 in Crosby TX was most notable. I spent a lot of saturday nights there as a young un in the early 70's before I was old enough to mix with, fight with and drink with the Gilley rat crowd.

 

The later 70's would be the early days for ZZ Top, and many others at Rockefellers  or the Continental Club ( which might happen again at anytime today, also Rockefellers just reopened in 2017 as a venue again, it is a must check our concert venue), the Yesterdays Future and Yesterday Once More were disco clubs and there were a few more of them.   

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/25/2014 at 6:40 PM, vaughan2374 said:

There was also another one called Yesterday Once More. I worked nights there as a waitress and it was the best money a single mother could make. They thought nothing about how much they tipped. It was nothing on a Friday or Saturday to go home after work and you had made about $200.00 to $300.00 in tips. And on Friday & Saturday nights it was a packed house. Waitress's had to raise their trays up over their heads and work their way through all the people. Those were the good ole days.

    I use to go to Yesterday Once More all the time and it was very busy every Friday and Saturday.  It was the good ole days !!!!!!!!!! I know spent lots of money there every weekend, who know might gave you few good tips back then.

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On 8/20/2017 at 1:03 PM, Richard Valley said:

Yes, those were truly the Good Ol' Days:  Gilley's, Bavarian Gardens, Catacombs, Love Street Light Circus & Feel Good Machine, Market Square, Elan (Ocean Club), 

Mom snuck me in to Love Street. I was a dancer aka extra and my friend's aunt was the choreographer for us, still have my costume tshirt Gilley's, he's in the movie and his friend too...Urban Cowboy. Catacombs, loved it. Liked The Ocean Club but Market Square, where was that?

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On 10/9/2017 at 4:23 PM, Chuck Allen said:

LMAO..I just by chance happened to land on this thread....I am an expert child of the 60's on this topic.    In the early 70's there were country bars and then there were honky tonks...    Houston has several of both but the most notable was the Fools Gold Club way out on the West side, out Westheimer, it was live music every night and the hopping place for country bars for many years.  For honkey tonks there's none bigger than my beloved Gilley's...I was there the day Sherwood shut her down.  We all cried.   It was an example of the excesses of the 80's in the end...especially in the glowing light of the movie, for a glorious while, it not only created the Urban Cowboy craze, but they rode it harder than a mechanical bull for the few short years it lasted.  Sherwood plowed the money into Gilliey's..  Leon Beck can probably talk to it better than me. It simply grew too big, and then Sherwood screwed Johnny Lee out of his road money. It started over Johnny wanting to buy some land after he married Charlene and then his band and Gilley's band reacted badly when they could not get paid, which started Gilley's imploding fast.   Big Tin Ban off Huffmeister was another great dance hall. There were also Saturday Night live music dances at the "Crosby Stomp" at the American Legion on 2100 in Crosby TX was most notable. I spent a lot of saturday nights there as a young un in the early 70's before I was old enough to mix with, fight with and drink with the Gilley rat crowd.

 

The later 70's would be the early days for ZZ Top, and many others at Rockefellers  or the Continental Club ( which might happen again at anytime today, also Rockefellers just reopened in 2017 as a venue again, it is a must check our concert venue), the Yesterdays Future and Yesterday Once More were disco clubs and there were a few more of them.   

Houston and Crosby Bug Tin Barn, Gilley's all the 70 thru 80's  lived it. Even the bars in the apartment complexes, bartended in alot, danced too. Good ol days. 

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On 10/3/2017 at 2:19 PM, Reefmonkey said:
  • The Official Preppy Handbook (published 1980) has a section on "where the preps are" each day of the week in several cities across the country, including Houston, and gives some good insight into Houston's bar scene in the late 70s. I was born in 1976, so I don't remember any of this, but below each entry from OPH I give a "where are they now" update as best as I can:

 

Monday

Roscoe’s Cafe & Jazzbar. 3230 Chimney Rock. Live Jazz, big name performers, Backgammon tables.

I never went to Roscoe’s and I don’t ever remember hearing about it. Now it’s a digital printing center.

Tuesday

Butera’s. 5019 Montrose. Deli, very casual, with millions of different beers. The place to be seen, but closes early at 8 p.m.

Butera’s had phenomenal sandwiches. My favorite was one with roasted portobella mushroom and red pepper slices. They were still open at least into the early 2000s, but have been closed for several years now.

Wednesday

St. Michel. 2150 Richmond. Jazz, very sophisticated atmosphere.

I never went there, never heard of it. It looks like now there is a fairly new building in that location filled with doctors offices.

Thursday

Kay’s Lounge. 2324 Bissonnet. Neighborhood bar with game room. Relaxed.

Ah Kays, I’ve been there several times, as has my wife, it’s one of many places in Houston we figured we probably just missed meeting each other before we finally met. My wife ended up stuck there during Tropical Storm Allison when her car got flooded in the street, two years before we met. This was also a favorite hangout of longtime Channel 13 ABC affiliate evening anchorman Dave Ward. It only closed last year (2016), and I think the building is still there and nothing has reopened in it yet.

Friday

The Hofbrau. 1803 Shepherd. Texas roadhouse for steaks and heavy imbibation. Fraternity hangout.

The Hofbrau is still there, I went a few times in the late 90s. It lost its cache, though in the mid 90s when Tilman Fertitta of Landry’s Restaurants chain bought it and turned it into a nationwide chain. That man is much despised here in the Houston area.

Saturday

The Cadillac Bar. 1802 Shepherd. Roast quail at this bar /restaurant. Famous for its Ramos Gin Fizzes.

The Cadillac Bar is still there, across the street from the Hofbrau, and it endured the exact same fate, also bought by the Landry’s group and its concept taken nationwide.

Sunday

Cody’s. 3400 Montrose. Top floor (10th) with great view. Key spot. Good jazz, dress code.

When I was young and single in the late 90s, early 00s, this location was called Scott Gertner’s Sky Bar, but other than that it was pretty much as described by the OPH. I took a lot of dates there, because you could step out of the bar and onto a patio on the 10th floor with great views to downtown, the Medical Center, etc. Dates that stopped there always went very well, if you know what I mean. Unfortunately, the bar closed maybe 10 years ago, and the building was razed. It’s now a luxury apartment highrise

 

Also, when I moved back to Houston after college in 1998, I lived in the old Westpoint Apartments on Westheimer and Fondren. My parents laughed that I lived there, because they remembered going to parties there when they first moved to Houston, young and childless, in the early 70s. They talked about there being a nightclub right there at the apartment complex called Barbary Coast.

 

Sorry, this website is acting really buggy today, I go to post or edit, and it tells me I can't, but then posts anyway, and I then try again before realizing it's now double posted.

Cadillac and Fitzgeralds, Dome Shadows, 2nd Office, cactus Club, O.P., ha even The Copa was entertaining lol, Art Wrens now that was a scream, lol... But after a few we'd just have to go "site seeing" lol, I think I miss The Palace and Pisces, most the places SW Houston and all along Westheimer but Damien's near River Oaks was nice and laid back. 

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  • 1 year later...
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.

 

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.

I was a bartender in the late 70’s at The Woodhollow Club, Cooter’s, and Lord Jim’s. The Woodhollow Club was disco, and Randy was the DJ. Fond memories! 

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  • 4 weeks later...

The club close to Fondren on Westheimer was called the Barbary Coast, I think the apartment complex was the Westpoint Apartments....owned by Harold Farb....Another complex he had in Southwest Houston was Napoleon Square and it had a club called Bonaparte's Retreat....both were great clubs and I spent a lot of time in my early twenties in both clubs..There was also a club in the Galleria area called Foxhunter, a very upscale club that was also very cool, I used to take my girlfriend there and we would dance and have a great time!

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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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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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  • 1 month later...
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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  • 3 weeks later...

Re: Aragon Ballroom, Houston, Tx that suffered major fire damage on July 13, 1945: Club was run by my son’s great grandfather John Franklin McMillian, Sr and his son Frank Jr. Would appreciate any history, photos, etc re the Aragon as I am putting together a family history for my son. Thanks. gngrjrdn@gmail.com

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

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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  • 1 month later...

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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  • 4 weeks later...

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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  • 6 months later...
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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  • 3 weeks later...
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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