Houston’s Nightlife

April 1, 2002 by  
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Talk

What Improvements Would You Like to See in Houston’s Nightlife?

Mimi Dinh

With such a tantalizing array of restaurants and bars to choose from, Houston is the ultimate playground for pretty young things and hard-core “scenesters” to get their fix of nightlife. Being in the public relations business, I do try to get out once in a while to see my clients, friends and peers. And while going out is supposed to be a hoot, lately I have noticed more and more people expressing frustration rather than enthusiasm when it comes to their fave establishments. Take bars, for example. I don’t think I’m alone in suggesting that the underage carding policies could use a little tightening up. Truly, there is nothing more irking than to come to a supposedly swanky spot only to find it swarming with overzealous, underage patrons. And then there?s the staff. First of all, if patrons are courteous and pleasant, I see absolutely no reason for the door staff, bartenders or security to carry themselves with such attitude. There?s also the infamous selection process. Lastly, there is nothing more frustrating than to waste half an hour at the bar, fighting for some attention just to order a drink. I would assume that the owners and managers, with their consummate experience, know which nights are busiest in order to supply adequate staffing. With the condition of our downtown streets these days and all of the construction, it is even more imperative for these establishments to pay closer attention to the way they conduct business and treat their customers. So, restaurant and club/bar owners out there, read on and take note, because I am not alone. Here’s the inside dope from Houston’s happening crowd.

I’d like to see more people coming to enjoy our town after the business day is over. It drives me crazy to talk to people who have not stayed up past 10 p.m. in their recent memory and then wonder why they are bored with their lives. I love going to the restaurants and nightspots downtown, midtown and in the Galleria area. You’ll find me munching at Aldos, Aries, Farragos and El Tiempo. To encourage more people to get out, it would help for construction crews to engage in less road rage and recognize that having a front end loader operating 5 feet from the entrance of a nightclub tends to affect the atmosphere and our evenings. It also wouldn’t hurt for one of our stations to have a show dedicated to the night scene to better promote all of our options.

Rob Todd, attorney, Waldon, Schneider & Todd, P.C.

I would like to see more people appreciate what downtown Houston nightlife offers. The downtown area alone has some of the best DJs in the country, great bands, unique restaurants from Pan-Asian to Latin, jazz clubs, amazing dance clubs, plus the theater district. I wish more people could enjoy downtown Houston nightlife.

Jeffrey Yarbrough, proprietor of Liberty Noodles/Ricebar and president of Texas Restaurant Association

I would like to see more casual dinner and dance clubs and less attitude and velvet ropes.

John Conroy, owner, varsityproductions.com

Less is more. People want comfortable spaces to meet and have fun in, where conversations can be heard, not shouted over thumping dance music. The dress should be like our lives, cool but casual. How many establishments have to close before the owners realize long lines, surly door people, expensive cover charges and pricey drinks may make their club seem exclusive and fashionable, but as soon as the next “must-see” spot opens, they are left with no core group to keep their place open?

Johnny Hooks, general and public relations manager, Spa 1107

We need more support from the media by giving downtown nightlife more positive exposure instead of negative. There should be more streetlights downtown, transportation solutions around construction areas, tax relief for businesses downtown, city-paid musicians to play on street corners to create a more festive environment, improved parking, friendlier cops and friendlier staff at clubs who “spoil their customers.”

Shein Hashemi, marketing director for Slainte Irish Pub/Bronx Bar/Live

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