While most Houstonians watched the possible end of two legendary football careers, some hardcore music fans played their final curtain downtown, bringing a close to a seminal chapter in the city’s musical history.
The live music club Walter’s, which relocated from Washington Avenue to a spot tucked away east of downtown, hosted its last show on Sunday after 16 years of featuring local and national acts.
Promoters billed the show as, “Your last chance to hug your friends in your home away from home,” closing the venue with a bang, with local acts bringing the noise, and long-time patrons bringing their stories of their favorite bands, favorite people and favorite memories.
According to locals, Walter’s started as a punk club in the early 2000s on Washington Avenue, a decade before the street became synonymous with Houston’s club-going scene.
The venue began featuring acts off the beaten path, standing out to patrons as one of the few places in Houston where punk and indie rock shows could find a show haven.
In 2012, however, Walter’s moved from Washington to Naylor Street, just a few blocks from the University of Houston-Downtown campus, and, thereafter, Pam Robinson, the club’s original owner, passed away from cancer.
Her son, Zachary Palmer, took over the club and tried to keep the original atmosphere going, including keeping the prices of shows and drinks affordable for the bohemian Inner Loop crowd who called Walter’s home, but with little success in the current economic climate.
Houston Press music writer David Garrick mourned the closure of the iconic venue:
“If I had to say what the venue’s closing says about our city, it’s that things have changed for the worse in the past decade, and Walter’s is the first victim in those changes,” Garrick wrote in his piece. “Because, if we don’t change how we support the local venues that are left, we’ll see a lot more closures in the future.”
RIP to this piece of Houston history.