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Friday, September 29, 2023

South Seashore Nightclub Reopens After 4-Yr Break

 When Houston’s reigning LGBTQ+ nightclub South Seashore shut its doorways in 2018, it was supposed to stay closed for simply two years for a much-needed renovation. When the pandemic hit, nevertheless, proprietor Charles Armstrong—affectionately referred to by many as “the Mayor of Montrose”—determined to postpone the membership’s reopening resulting from security issues. This Friday, after a break of over 4 years, the celebrated membership is lastly reopening. 

“The transform was already 80 p.c completed in spring 2020 when COVID occurred,” mentioned Armstrong, who can also be the steward of neighboring JR’s Bar & Grill, Houston’s oldest regularly operated LGBTQ+ bar, in an announcement. “We remained closed as we waited for almost all of the inhabitants to change into vaccinated for defense in opposition to COVID. Two years in the past, we had been in uncharted territory, and I had an ethical drawback packing a dance flooring full of individuals in the midst of a well being disaster.”

Disaster apart, the brand new South Seashore was definitely worth the wait. When the membership initially opened in 2001, the part of Montrose that it calls house was decidedly much less posh than it’s in the present day. Its new design, which might greatest be described as Restoration {Hardware} meets Miami Vice, displays the altering demographics of the neighborhood and is impressed by the proliferation of upscale lodging which have sprung up within the space in recent times. Whereas the previous South Seashore sported industrial interiors that had been stiffer than its drinks (and from private expertise, we are able to attest that the drinks had been certainly fairly stiff), the brand new South Seashore incorporates a modern inside harking back to an upscale house—one which fortunately nonetheless presents beneficiant pours. 

For the transform, Armstrong enlisted award-winning designer John Robinson of Houston-based Robinson & Associates, who beforehand labored with Armstrong on the look of now-defunct LGBTQ+ lounge Meteor. For South Seashore 2.0, Robinson deployed high-end supplies like mahogany, Carrara marble, black granite, and oak flooring to present the area a heat, residential look. To ensure the heat gained’t be confused for quaintness, Robinson positioned within the middle of the dance flooring a brand new, 450-pound, 8-foot quartz crystal chandelier that, in fact, rotates inside a 14-foot truss straight over the dance flooring—a pièce de résistance so luminous it will make Liberace pivot to probably the most main of keys.

South Seashore has additionally been upgraded with the most recent in sound and lighting know-how, which can assist give the area main house-party vibes. Additionally returning are the nightclub’s well-known ice jets, which when triggered spray clouds of chilly and foggy air onto the dance flooring—and in so doing lower the area’s temperature by 20 levels straight away (whereas additionally offering cowl for a stolen kiss or two). 

“Know-how might have modified the way in which folks do issues, however the human need for life-affirming celebrations, full with ice jets spraying out a thick cloud of air, stays the identical,” mentioned Armstrong somewhat cheekily of South Seashore’s new tech however age-old mission. “Individuals wish to be collectively, and I’m going to present them simply that with the final word home social gathering.”


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