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Twins, Bacchus, Chicken Coop, Numbers, etc.

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When I was young, we parked at the GYM and went to Twins. If it was boring we went to Bacchus. Saw more people there than I needed to see. How funny now, when I think about it. The Twins building is totally gone now.

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When I was young, we parked at the GYM and went to Twins. If it was boring we went to Bacchus. Saw more people there than I needed to see. How funny now, when I think about it. The Twins building is totally gone now.

The good old days. But those days are long gone. South Beach, the Mine, JRs, 611, Ripcord, etc. are the hot spots. Mary's probably is too (as long as its been there), but I don't go out much anymore. Montrose is awesome at any rate.

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The good old days. But those days are long gone. South Beach, the Mine, JRs, 611, Ripcord, etc. are the hot spots. Mary's probably is too (as long as its been there), but I don't go out much anymore. Montrose is awesome at any rate.

Mary's is still there? What about Quicksilver?

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Quicksilvers? Where was that? Obviously been gone a long time because I don't remember it.

Quicksilver was on California Street, just east of Montrose. The Chinese take-out place is located next to where it was located, which is now a parking lot for Prive'. Quicksilver had a rather notorious tree limb in the backyard. (If you have to ask, don't.) :blush:

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Quicksilver was on California Street, just east of Montrose. The Chinese take-out place is located next to where it was located, which is now a parking lot for Prive'. Quicksilver had a rather notorious tree limb in the backyard. (If you have to ask, don't.) :blush:

I don't have to ask. :ph34r:

Quicksilver must have closed circa 1980 or '81, because it wasn't open when I moved here late 1981.

There were a few long-gone clubs on Avondale as well. One featured the entire cab of a Mack truck as its entryway. There was another called the Silver Phoenix (I think) and of course Dirty Sally's.

Remember the place which was on that triangular plot at the corner of Westheimer and California? It had a tree growing through the middle of the building.

Another bygone sleazy-but-fun place was Mother's, on Lovett. Formerly it was Baja Sam's, which was a rather nice restaurant - cabaret. I think Billy Stritch used to play piano there.

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I remember the Silver Phoenix - never went there, but my best friend in high school came out to his family in the summer of 1979 via a CBS Saturday news program aimed at teens - think it was called "30 Minutes" - and the Houston segment was filmed there. Talk about family fireworks.... :blink: He & I used to go dancing at the Old Plantation on Kipling as well. Got in the door and drank at 16-17; never got carded once. Then again, he was cute enough to get away with practically anything. It was fun pretending to be his girlfriend at school. :D

Anyone remember when Numbers was Babylon's?

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I remember the Silver Phoenix - never went there, but my best friend in high school came out to his family in the summer of 1979 via a CBS Saturday news program aimed at teens - think it was called "30 Minutes" - and the Houston segment was filmed there. Talk about family fireworks.... :blink: He & I used to go dancing at the Old Plantation on Kipling as well. Got in the door and drank at 16-17; never got carded once. Then again, he was cute enough to get away with practically anything. It was fun pretending to be his girlfriend at school. :D

Anyone remember when Numbers was Babylon's?

I remember Babylon's, interesting goings on back in those days. Grace Jones performed there if I remember right, seems like Pia Zadora was there at some point too.

The bar mentioned earlier with the truck cab over the entrance was called The Truckstop, you could walk from there to the Badlands bar through the back patio area, they were connected.

Does anyone remember the Boobie Rock, across from Mary's? How about Princes Hamburgers where the Stop and Go is now? Seems like yesterday, I must be getting old! I used to park my car at the old Circus Club and make the rounds from there, it was amazing the things you could see in those few blocks between Taft and Mary's.

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Does anyone remember the Boobie Rock, across from Mary's? How about Princes Hamburgers where the Stop and Go is now? Seems like yesterday, I must be getting old! I used to park my car at the old Circus Club and make the rounds from there, it was amazing the things you could see in those few blocks between Taft and Mary's.

I was at Half Price Books a couple of days ago, and spotted a couple of photos above and to the right of the front door I'd never noticed before. They're two panoramic "then-and-now" photos of the intersection of Westheimer and Yoakum taken from the same angle, the earlier one from the 1930s depicting an automobile dealer and a gas station, and the later one from 1983 depicting the Tower Theater and the Boobie Rock in those same locations. I hadn't thought about the Boobie Rock in years, and here it pops up twice in the same week.

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Can't leave out the Farmhouse! Loading Dock! And the bar that was before the Empire ... gosh, forgot the name.
Chutes!

a.k.a. The Different Drum.

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And remember when EJ's was on Richmond Ave.? With the cages filled with finches and budgies? The original building was torn down in the 80's. Local legend had it that it was a beatnik hangout in the late 50's/early 60's and was where Janis Joplin first started performing in public.

I think it was on the site now occupied by Decades.

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I hadn't thought about the Boobie Rock in years, and here it pops up twice in the same week.

There's another reference to the Booby Rock here

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The first bar at the old Hollyfield Cleaners location (now the Empire Cafe) was the Locker. At the time, it was considered to be Houston's first gay leather bar (although Mary's could certainly make a case that it was a leather bar in the 70s). I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Round Table (located next to where the Veterans Center is today). It was very popular on Sunday afternoon during the early 1970s. The crowd literally overflowed into the street (Westheimer) and the crowd was so thick that all sorts of things occurred al fresco in the front yard. The original Tootsie's was across the street.

WRT the bar on California Street, my memory is faulty, but I believe it was called the Silver Bullet, not Quicksilver.

The late 60s music venue on Richmond was Sand Mountain, but I'm not sure it was at the location later occupied by EJs.

My nomination for the most interesting bar: Prufrock's. It was owned by the same person who owned the Round Table and was just a block away. A mixed bar, it only sold beer and wine (no liquor by the drink), had a truly unique juke box, and had the text of the poem written around the walls of the main room. If you found the mistake in the text, you got a free drink. It was a hangout for artists and more than a few politicos. I once saw Dick Wray sign the shadow a lamp cast on the wall as "found" art. There were rooms in the rear that were dedicated to playing card games and chess -- and they were busy.

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Can't leave out the Farmhouse! Loading Dock! And the bar that was before the Empire ... gosh, forgot the name.

Ah, yes! The bar was called the Drum! Does anyone remember a place called September's? Its now a carpet/flooring shop at Dunlavy and Westhiemer. The owner plans to reopen it as a Cafe.

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When I was young, we parked at the GYM and went to Twins. If it was boring we went to Bacchus. Saw more people there than I needed to see. How funny now, when I think about it. The Twins building is totally gone now.

Bacchus was kind of small. Remember across the street from twins was the Midnight Sun and then there was also the Officer's Club in that big school building where I think the Farmhouse was. It was also a country/western club a while too (cant recall the name). There was a place on Westheimer called Club LaAmour that had a lighted dancefloor, the Galleon on Richmond that had the ten cent beer busts. (late 70s) I mostly frequented the women's bars which changed like night and day too. There was Just Marion and Lynns, Our Place over on Richmond across the street from the Texas Opry House, Kindred Spirits orginial location on Buffalo Speedway and one of the oldest bars in town was the Lampost on Times in the Village. But I also had some good times at the Venture In, Marys and down Galveston way there was Kon Tiki and Lafittes that were always good for an afternoon. What was the name of that big disco that used to be where the Admiral Linen Factory is now, right off Alabama/Shepherd? I was in there one night when they actually raided the place. Sorry, got a little off topic on the Montrose thing, but just started remembering all those places I hadn't thought about in years.

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What was the name of that big disco that used to be where the Admiral Linen Factory is now, right off Alabama/Shepherd? I was in there one night when they actually raided the place.
That was the Old Plantation where I went dancing. Thankfully not on raid night. :o
There was a place on Westheimer called Club LaAmour that had a lighted dancefloor

L'amour La Femme?

I remember Kindred Spirits on Richmond near the Loop. The one I went to on Buffalo Speedway was in the 90's and called the Ranch. Had 3 clubs, I think, but I was only in the techno one.

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The first bar at the old Hollyfield Cleaners location (now the Empire Cafe) was the Locker. At the time, it was considered to be Houston's first gay leather bar (although Mary's could certainly make a case that it was a leather bar in the 70s). I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Round Table (located next to where the Veterans Center is today). It was very popular on Sunday afternoon during the early 1970s. The crowd literally overflowed into the street (Westheimer) and the crowd was so thick that all sorts of things occurred al fresco in the front yard. The original Tootsie's was across the street.

WRT the bar on California Street, my memory is faulty, but I believe it was called the Silver Bullet, not Quicksilver.

The late 60s music venue on Richmond was Sand Mountain, but I'm not sure it was at the location later occupied by EJs.

My nomination for the most interesting bar: Prufrock's. It was owned by the same person who owned the Round Table and was just a block away. A mixed bar, it only sold beer and wine (no liquor by the drink), had a truly unique juke box, and had the text of the poem written around the walls of the main room. If you found the mistake in the text, you got a free drink. It was a hangout for artists and more than a few politicos. I once saw Dick Wray sign the shadow a lamp cast on the wall as "found" art. There were rooms in the rear that were dedicated to playing card games and chess -- and they were busy.

Oh yea, I remember the Locker/Different Drum and later on Chutes, and the Loading Dock across the street...just a few more odds and ends: next to the Stop and Go on Westheimer@Whitnety was a little dive massage place called Sugar and Spice. Down the street was Hungry International (I ate there a lot) and also the Spud U Like. On Fairview was a place called Grant Street Station (I still have the t-shirt from there) and behind it was a short lived but nice little bar called The Deep. I'll post more as I remember it.

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What was the name of that big disco that used to be where the Admiral Linen Factory is now, right off Alabama/Shepherd? I was in there one night when they actually raided the place.

Possibly the "OP" Old Plantation?

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there was also the Officer's Club in that big school building where I think the Farmhouse was. It was also a country/western club a while too (cant recall the name).

The Officer's Club was on Albany St., in a building which was built to be an orphanage (the DePelchin Children's Home.) Later it would house Emo's and Club Some; currently it's been converted into several condo units. (Interesting sidebar: the same architect who designed this building also designed the Hotel Galvez, in Galveston. His name escapes me at the moment...)

On Fairview was a place called Grant Street Station (I still have the t-shirt from there) and behind it was a short lived but nice little bar called The Deep. I'll post more as I remember it.

I think Grant Street Station was located in the building that now houses Lola's.

Yes, The Deep was in a converted house, wasn't it? And just beyond that was a large bar which had various names - I remember it as Ray's Five & Dime. I think this building is now a private residence.

It featured a large game room with several pinball machines, pool and foosball tables, a photo booth, video games, etc. One afternoon a friend and I were playing pool there when this half naked guy came flying out of the photo booth and fell flat on his face in front of us. Seems his legs had become tangled in his pants and underwear, which were still around his ankles. He had been standing on the stool taking a (ahem) very special self-portrait and lost his balance. Boy, was his face red - and not just because of the blood.

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Speaking of red ... the Red Room. Back in the summer of 1972 when I first moved to H-town, we would go to Galveston, get all tanned, come home, go to dinner and go over to the Red Room to see Tiffany Jones, Daschell, Jerry Van Over and Kitty Key. Now you all know how dated this is, but at that age it was a blast. Didn't have a problem getting up and going to work very early on Monday morning either. Couldn't do it now. :angry2:

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Speaking of red ... the Red Room. Back in the summer of 1972 when I first moved to H-town, we would go to Galveston, get all tanned, come home, go to dinner and go over to the Red Room to see Tiffany Jones, Daschell, Jerry Van Over and Kitty Key. Now you all know how dated this is, but at that age it was a blast. Didn't have a problem getting up and going to work very early on Monday morning either. Couldn't do it now. :angry2:

Someone needs to record this or write a book. So much history!

I also remember (not GAY, but neat) restaurant called "Harry's", the Happy Buddha, the Galleon, and Rascals.

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Someone needs to record this or write a book. So much history!

I also remember (not GAY, but neat) restaurant called "Harry's", the Happy Buddha, the Galleon, and Rascals.

Here's a good one for whomever can recall if there was a placed call "The Midnight Sun"? and what about

Club La'dour? I think it was a only for women place near where #'s still is (across the street).

In addition, can anyone confirm what became of all those beautiful Victorian homes as Elgin turned into lower Westheimer? I have a good feeling they met the blasted wrecking ball. AAAAARRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!

Tell me they were relocated?!?!

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Here's a good one for whomever can recall if there was a placed call "The Midnight Sun"?

The Midnight Sun was at 534 Westheimer (between Stanford and Whitney.) Currently, the rear portion of the building houses The Cat Doctor; the front half has been demolished for a parking lot. It had a reputation for being a rough place - lots of drugs, hustlers, etc. .

In addition, can anyone confirm what became of all those beautiful Victorian homes as Elgin turned into lower Westheimer? I have a good feeling they met the blasted wrecking ball. AAAAARRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!

Tell me they were relocated?!?!

The only one which I know of that was moved was in the 100 block of Westheimer; it's been relocated to the east side of Brazos, a block north of Elgin. Most of the others were either demolished or burned, unfortunately. There's a house which has stood abandoned for a long time on the north side of Westheimer. It's not especially ornate, but is in surprisingly original condition; very little remuddling. At one time there was a plan to relocate it to a vacant lot in Westmoreland, but nothing ever came of it. I hope someone will find a more secure spot for it - that section of Westheimer is ripe for development.

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I remember Kindred Spirits on Richmond near the Loop. The one I went to on Buffalo Speedway was in the 90's and called the Ranch. Had 3 clubs, I think, but I was only in the techno one.

The orginal Kindred Spirits was in a strip center on Buffalo Speedway next door to Luby's (now gone) at Bissonnet. It had an upper level and was a very nice club, much nicer than the location they moved to at the loop.

The Ranch actually started out on South Main in a small strip center and their advertisements said "Houston's Highlight is the Ranch". Betsy Worden bought it out and moved to the old strip center on Buffalo Speedway around the corner. It was the largest square footage Gay Women's bar in the country. One club was the Ranch which was primarily country and western, the techno club was called Extasy and at the far end was the quiet bar called Ms. B's. There was also a large patio outside with a bar, barbeque pit and volleyball court. She lived at the end of the building in a loft style area filled with antiques and a huge antique oak bar several feet long was the centerpiece of this. At the other end of the building she had one tenant, a small frame shop that you didn't even notice unless you were looking pretty hard for it. It was quite the place to go at the time. The whole place was torn down after she closed up shop and now it is a small subdivision with new two story houses. A little more trivia on this, before Ms. Worden moved in, several years earlier there had been a club housed in one end of the building called Dome Shadows which was a rock and roll place I believe. It burned at one point, but that area of the building was rebuilt. Where Ms. B's was located was once a primarily black club called Mr. B's and most of the interior of this was left intact when the Ranch went into operation. It was always said by Both Betsy Worden and her employees that the building was haunted, they would hear noises before the place opened and late at night such as doors opening and shutting and the beer taps coming on by themselves particularly down at the Ranch/Dome Shadows end of the building that had burned.

Edited by 2fatcats

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Aaaah, "The Loading Dock" I LOVED that place! In 1983, this was the first all male dance place I'd been to! What a blast it was! I'm still hopeful Venture Inn will reopen someday.

Wow. Esperson you reached back and I felt young again. Thanks to all of you HAIFers who have given us a "blast from the past" that we remember so well. The Loading Dock. Boy, was I loaded when I was at the Dock. :lol:

I love H-town. Always have and always will. So many fun times I've had in this city and the people are totally the best. Happy New Year All!

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Fascinating. Love this Montrose history. I like hearing about the old hangouts.

Chicken Coop! I haven't heard that name in years! How in the world did you rememeber that!

It was there when lower Westheimer was ablaze with nightlife.

I still remember how this drag queen was in front of the Chicken Coop one Halloween dressed as Wonder Woman. We asked her to spin around and she did it perfect! She also had a pal next to her dressed as Cupid he held a tambourine and hit his hip several times as everyone passed by cheering! Fun old days! :lol:

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I was at Half Price Books a couple of days ago, and spotted a couple of photos above and to the right of the front door I'd never noticed before. They're two panoramic "then-and-now" photos of the intersection of Westheimer and Yoakum taken from the same angle, the earlier one from the 1930s depicting an automobile dealer and a gas station, and the later one from 1983 depicting the Tower Theater and the Boobie Rock in those same locations. I hadn't thought about the Boobie Rock in years, and here it pops up twice in the same week.

for some reason i never remembered to stop and take a look, but earlier this evening i finally did - they are great pictures.

never thought i'd get to see the Boobie Rock!

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You're correct about the Midnight Sun having been at Westheimer & Montrose in the same building as what is now the Prive Lounge. I remember it was always packed on weekends, and their Sunday night shows were among the best, right up there with the Old Plantation. I can still see it in my mind as if it were yesterday from your description. It was a pretty cool looking place back then actually, and would still look modern even by today's standards if it hadn't changed.

Thank you all for sharing your recollections!

Correct me if I'm wrong but the name Midnight Sun was a spin on the Midnight Cowboy film? I mean it must have opened a few years after the film 1969. Seems coincidentle. In fact the area resembled many scenes of the film, of course not like Times Square but you get the idea.

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The Wonder Woman story reminded me of a sight before one of the Pride parades back when it was still a daytime event. I was camped with some friends near the start when we heard a lot of hoots, whistles and "run honey, run!" and a faint "CLOMPCLOMPCLOMP" getting louder. What to our wondering eyes appeared but a drag queen in full wedding regalia, including askew tiara and veil, skirts and petticoats hiked up to the knees and running as fast as her size 12 heels would carry her to catch up to her float. Guess someone overslept. :blush:

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The Wonder Woman story reminded me of a sight before one of the Pride parades back when it was still a daytime event. I was camped with some friends near the start when we heard a lot of hoots, whistles and "run honey, run!" and a faint "CLOMPCLOMPCLOMP" getting louder. What to our wondering eyes appeared but a drag queen in full wedding regalia, including askew tiara and veil, skirts and petticoats hiked up to the knees and running as fast as her size 12 heels would carry her to catch up to her float. Guess someone overslept. :blush:

Let's face it,

those are the kind of stories and antics that created the allure and mystique of lower Westheimer. Bizarre as it was or is, that is why people would drive miles to the inner city. Spectacle yes, outrageous sure, but it was all in good humor. I imagine it has tamed down quite a bit since its hey day.

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Is it possible that the Midnight Sun relocated to the 534 Westheimer address? I could have sworn that's where it was located when I moved here in '81.

If that wasn't the Midnight Sun, then what was it? It existed; I've been in it (and that's nothing to brag about :blush: )

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re: Midnight Sun...

the closest i can get is the 1976 city directory which lists 534 Westheimer as "Second Sun," but 910 Westheimer as "Blue Water Diving School."

534 used to be Q.T.'s, i think, and is now a vet.

oh well - look at the difference a few years can make!

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re: Midnight Sun...

the closest i can get is the 1976 city directory which lists 534 Westheimer as "Second Sun," but 910 Westheimer as "Blue Water Diving School."

534 used to be Q.T.'s, i think, and is now a vet.

oh well - look at the difference a few years can make!

I asked Ray Hill (and who better to ask?) what the name of the bar was across from the Chicken Coop. Without hesitation he said "It was the Midnight Sun, later called QT's." The Blue Water Diving School was still open at the location now occupied by Prive'.

That's my recollection as well. The portion still standing (the Cat Doctor) was the dance floor - the bar portion was demolished to create what's currently the parking lot.

I've seen no evidence that 910 Wesheimer was ever the Midnight Sun.

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I asked Ray Hill (and who better to ask?) what the name of the bar was across from the Chicken Coop. Without hesitation he said "It was the Midnight Sun, later called QT's." The Blue Water Diving School was still open at the location now occupied by Prive'.

That's my recollection as well. The portion still standing (the Cat Doctor) was the dance floor - the bar portion was demolished to create what's currently the parking lot.

I've seen no evidence that 910 Wesheimer was ever the Midnight Sun.

Someone here (or elsewhere) must know. Guess it really doesn't matter but if memory serves well, I am pretty sure Midnight Sun was on Westheimer. As teens we used to drive around on weekend's :blush: as did hundreds of other Houstonian's and I could swear it was on Westheimer once?

Can everyone sleep tonight pondering? Help!

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Doubt this helps much re the Midnight Sun location, but the following is from a 1985 Chron article about the List case:

"Joey was a street kid Bill picked up on one of his weekend trips to Montrose. Joey said later he was hunkered over a pool table at the Midnight Sun when he caught Bill's eye. At 16, Joey, who had run away from his Tomball home, was getting wise to the ways of the street. He knew that the Sun was tolerant toward street kids, and unlike some of the clubs along lower Westheimer nobody was going to make him buy a drink in order to stay. The place had developed a reputation over the years as a hangout for hustlers. Out in front, across the street and around the corner on Avondale, hustlers on the sidewalks would talk business through their tricks' open car windows."

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scanning through the online TABC license records, here is 534 Westheimer's history:

-Midnight Sun, 01/11/77-01/10/86

-Bayou Landing, 11/20/85-11/19/86

-Momma's Money (!), 02/06/89-02/05/91

-Depo Station, 04/08/91-04/07/92

-QT's, 06/15/87-06/14/98 (and the next license application was denied)

910 Westheimer has only had a license for Prive (03/11/99-03/10/08)

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Does anyone remember the Boobie Rock, across from Mary's?

Here's a shot of the Boobie Rock (with Mary's in the background) circa 1988.

post-2-1203288540_thumb.jpg

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In the late '60's the Plantation on West Gray was the spot. Liberace visted there after one of his Houston performances.

The owner, Gene Howell, then opened The Farmhouse, off Westheimer.

Jerry Vanover, 'Big David', and Tiffany Jones (Ken Whitehead) danced in drag in Jerry's club on Westheimer east of Montrose.

After 'after hours' it was Art Wren's restaurant on Westheimer where it was Halloween every night!

Those really were the good old days!

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Nobody's mentioned the Parade Disco on Richmond. It was just west of the apartment complex, then known as 1400 Richmond (it was really a cruise-plex). The Parade building is now a Menil Collection storage facility. Anyway, the Parade was owned by Jerry Minaffee (sp) of New Orleans. I remember meeting Grace Jones there one time after her concert at the 'Summit'. Also, when Kathy Whitmire won her first term as mayor, on election night, she, Lance Lalor and other elected councel showed up and the place went wild. The fire department tried to clear it out, but backed off in the end. Hello, like it or not, that was their new bosses-boss.

Also, does anybody remember Hungry International, on the south side of Westheimer and Helena? It burned and moved to the Village. Houlihan's was also on the northeast corner at that same intersection.

One more thing, the GYM across the street from Katz's was named Jim's Gym.

I've read this entire blog to this point in one sitting - talk about brain burn, but great memories.

Not done yet...

I remember seeing Paul Lynd at the Parade and Dr. Bellows (I dream of Jeannie) at JR's.

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I remember Kindred Spirits on Richmond near the Loop. The one I went to on Buffalo Speedway was in the 90's and called the Ranch. Had 3 clubs, I think, but I was only in the techno one.

I barely remember the Ranch - seemed so far away from everything!

Here's a shot of the Boobie Rock (with Mary's in the background) circa 1988.

post-2-1203288540_thumb.jpg

Haha those statues - they should put them back! :D

So doing more TABC searches for that address and Waughcrest Dr., it shows that Chances/Charlie's Diner for 1100 Westheimer from 1983-present (RIP Charlie's) but also had a TABC license for Charlie's with a Waughcrest address from 1984-1989 (and owned by a Paul George Kalas - any relation to the Montagu Kalas...?).

It looks like a part of the old Bacchus or Charlie's was "Jamail's Country Inn and Deli" from 1985-1986 - anyone remember that? Seems like an odd place for a "country inn." Or not.

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