There were no better years for Main Street in downtown Houston than 2004 and 2006.

The city was lucky enough to host the Super Bowl in ’04 and then the NBA All Star game two years later.

Those events put a spark in the nightlife on Main Street.

Clubs, bars, and restaurants were packed with patrons from Wednesday thru early Sunday morning.

But as the big events disappeared the nightclub machine in downtown Houston began an aggressive effort to genereate more revenue.

Some clubs were charging $20 to $30 to enter along with drinks hovering around $10 each.

That admission fee wouldn’t have been so bad if downtown visitors didn’t also have to contend with the parking sharks.

Those companies that operated the parking lots had Houstonians at their mercy with rates of $20 to $40 for evening parking.

In addition to that – let’s not forget the aggressive homeless population.

In some cases they ran game on downtown customers who were lucky enough to find free parking spaces.

Some transients were intimidating drivers or in some cases essentially shaking them down to guarantee their vehicles wouldn’t be vandalized when they returned from a night of partying.

That crazy mix resulted in the growing list of empty businesses in downtown Houston today.

Just walk down Main and see the number of for sale or lease signs posted on former popular hot spots.

Clubs like the Cotton Exchange, The Mercury Room, and M Bar have all disappeared into the night.

Houston will have a second chance at renewed life in the downtown area this coming week because of the return of the NBA All Star game.

But this potential resurrection of downtown nightlife on Main Street Houston will be in the hands of the business owners again.

Will they make the same mistakes and charge patrons outrageous fees for club entry and parking?

The answer is likely yes and there will be another dry spell which will result in the death of the nightlife on Main Street Houston once again.

What do you think?


  1. Yael Keys February 9, 2013 2:12 pm 

    Houston’s night club life is DEAD! I lived in Houston for over 10 years and was able to see the nightlife in Houston flourish and die and reborn again and die. After all of that I started tuning in to Netflix. I am now living in New York and of course It’s known as the city that never sleeps.

    I am not comparing Houston to New York but Houston is known as one of the biggest cities in the US and it should thrive in the nightlife as well as other areas in entertainment.
    Also you have the same people hosting club events and the same group of people they cater to are always in attendance. This is good for the people that promote the club events however, I welcome and like diversity. I would like to see a mixture of people having fun. It’s a better networking opportunities amongst other things.

    Nevertheless, they need to have a consistent nightlife and stop up charging because if you really think about it you aren’t really getting anything out of it other than dancing if there is enough space at the venue. You are required to pay a high cover charge, you have to pay for expensive drink and parking fees. And hopefully the DJ can really make the crowd move.

  2. Tieuel Legacy! Motion February 10, 2013 1:41 pm 

    Interesting perspective on this. I know the guy that owned Isis and I thought it was still opened. The competition on Washington seemed to be pretty stiff so I noticed that change. My guess is that there’s only a matter of time before Washington dries up due to the treatment of minorities also. So where will everyone go?

    The parking downtown has always been something to overcome for one reason or another. People were willing to make that trek though. TLegacy!

  3. Tim February 11, 2013 8:09 am 

    Treatment of minorities??? Really? What treatment and by WHOM would that be? The race card is old and played out, please find another excuse.

  4. Ms Eve February 17, 2013 10:37 am 

    There are some establishments on Washington Ave and in Midtown that discriminate against “minorities”. Sorry, but its still happening. When a guy who is in charge of the door sees a mixed group of people together and only allows one of them in while the rest are “minorities” then its not pulling the race card. It’s calling a spade a spade. After being exposed for the treatment of prospective minority patrons many of these establishments have tried to address the issue.

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