Montrose's Creepiest Adult Bookstore Burns Down, Man Killed

Categories: Spaced City

bookstour070111.jpg
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A Montrose landmark of sorts, gone.
For years, the Talk of the Town adult bookstore on Richmond just west of Montrose has been a creepy oddity -- from the outside, it looked like a shabby, about-to-fall-down barn, its fading red paint, lack of windows and seeming claustrophobic conditions inside adding to the non-allure.

Few adult bookstores look inviting, but this looked like a place where you'd go in to get your head chopped off by some crazed ax murderer. Adding a colorful "Interstate 420" mural only made it seem like it was trying to attract innocent weed-experimenting teens to what must have been the store cellar in Pulp Fiction.

The place burned down in a fire this morning, and a man inside was killed.

We've asked the Houston Fire Department for more info, but the Houston Chronicle reports that the fire started at about 10 a.m. this morning, and the roof fell in on a person's head.

It says there are signs of forced entry into the building, so the fire is considered suspicious.

Update: HPD's statement:

Houston Fire Department Arson Investigators and HPD homicide are currently investigating a suspicious fire with one confirmed adult male civilian fatality at 1201 Richmond. HFD was dispatched to the fire just before 10 a.m. this morning, July 1, 2011. Firefighters arrived within two minutes and found heavy smoke coming from the one-story business. There was evidence of forcible entry. An offensive attack was made on the fire which was tapped out within 15 minutes. The victim was found on secondary search beneath debris. No firefighter injuries were reported. About 50 firefighters responded to the fire which caused about $20,000 in damage.

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28 comments
Schitt.Rumpney
Schitt.Rumpney

You are correct, mfpb! It I S reopened. Although this post is some 3months since yours, id hoppe that The Press would have run a story update by now.

I did drive by there on Friday morning a few weeks ago, noticed the bldg was painted white on the outside. I guess I never aid attention to the name before the fire, but I am told that it is still called "Talk of The Town III".

So I pulled into that backside lot, walked that deck-like walkway to the front and went in. its bright and clean compared to before. The guy at the counter very friendly. No archade yet butbhe said thats their next phase. I am sure it will be much nicer than yrs b4

mfpbj420
mfpbj420

Just passed by it today. There is an open sign at the front door. I will be stopping in soon to check it out. See ya there !

lewtwo
lewtwo

Have they rebuilt it yet ???

CAMSHEEL
CAMSHEEL

WOW!  It nothing but a dang shack firetrap  All that damage for a firetrap plus men killed was he living in it?

BRING420Back
BRING420Back

hmm. why does the article say the landmark burned down? the place is still in business.

Brittanie Shey
Brittanie Shey

So, so weird. A number of us were right next door last night at Jackson's Watering Hole for the Houston Web Awards after party. I distinctly remember telling someone "It's right next door to Talk of the Town" for directions. Not no more.

Blindedbytheright
Blindedbytheright

 The store was open at the time of the fire ... so logically there should not be any signs for forced entry. And i work a few blocks from the store and on my way home about an hour ago i stopped and talked to one of the guys conducting the clean up and he told me that the guy who was found dead tried to rob the place and when he couldn't he set himself on fire. I am not sure what is true and what is not but the guy cleaning the place up seemed to think that this guy was not an innocent bystander. 

Ribalding
Ribalding

Kinda makes you misty to see all the landmarks of your childhood disappearing.

John Nova Lomax
John Nova Lomax

First Gaslight, now Talk of the Town. All the creepy Inner Loop adult bookstores are going the way of AstroWorld.

n8d0g
n8d0g

Any news on the status of Talk of the Town I & II?

Manxlucky
Manxlucky

You could smell the buring Pine-sol all the way to Dunlavy.

kweg
kweg

NOW where am I going to find my bath salts?

Hill
Hill

Up in Smoke II. Too soon?

Mark
Mark

I never thought I would read creepy and adult bookstore in the same sentence here? Weird Rich! Weird!

n8d0g
n8d0g

Here's hoping they built the old girl back, bigger and creepier than ever.

Ahnw
Ahnw

Actually, Tony Vallone's former chef should assuage your fears, John. Into the old friendly bookstore next to Numbers will go an astoundingly good, yet casual restaurant in  a few short months. 

No I don't speak Spanish
No I don't speak Spanish

oh the humanity where will we go for some hot action, i thought Annise Parker would fix this and Houston would be the spot in Texas for no strings m2m sex.

Schitt.Rumpney
Schitt.Rumpney

@jigmonster @mfpbj420

yup, she's open again. Painted white outside and when I stopped in, the guy let me look around. Very clean and new , but no archade.

Guest
Guest

Very interesting.

H_e_x
H_e_x

Oh, I get it. She is gay, and men having sex with each other is funny. Got any good Polish jokes too?

Library Docent
Library Docent

We all figured that you'd go where you usually go, Spanish: The glory hole at the 3rd floor bathroom at the UH library.

Mel Sharkskin
Mel Sharkskin

I don't recall, but I do remember they caught the guy a couple of days later in another town. What made this one so memorable was that this particular cop was one of those people who was loved by everybody, who sponsored a little league team for inner city kids and was generally a stand-up guy. Just further proof that it's never the bad people who get whacked.

Native
Native

I remember that did they finally execute the killer?

Mel Sharkskin
Mel Sharkskin

A girlfriend in my college days did work-study as a librarian at UH, and she told me of said glory hole some 30 years ago. The more things change, the more etc., etc... In fact, our then-Dean of Students, IIRC, was caught at one of the library holes with a student stuck on one end of him.On a more serious note, as a Chron reporter, I covered a scene where an HPD officer was murdered while on the floor begging for his life after he walked in on a robbery in a Richmond Ave. dirty book store (he was checking the store's license at the time). So they're all creepy to me.

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