This past week we found ourselves at Walter's On Washington about three times for various shows, amateur boxing matches and the random drink (or five). The club's rumored move has been Internet and scene fodder since word of its then-imminent change of location came to light last fall.
It's now sort of a parlor game at local bars, guessing when and where the club will go. Right up there with 9/11 and the JFK Assassination, you can now find people making guesses, educated and otherwise, on the future location where they can score one of bartender Roy Mata's Creeper shots. Rocks Off sat down with Walter's staffer Eric Dean this week and asked him about the area surrounding the venue, the hazards of Washington and the future move.
RO: What's it like to be right in the middle of this new Washington scene?
Eric Dean: Walter's is Walter's. Now we just have more turnarounds. When people walk up and see they have to pay a cover, they leave. People sometimes get irate and try to say that because they are there, they shouldn't have to pay a cover. As if their very presence will elevate Walter's. "Man, we're gonna buy a lot of alcohol!" They say that since they are only there only to drink and not watch the band, they shouldn't have to pay.
But bands still need to get paid right? At the Lucero show a while back, a group of dude bros came and just cut ahead of the line and told me that they were just drinking and didn't need to wait in line. Then when I tell them no, they call the place a shithole.
RO: It seems like the whole town is sort of erupting slowly into fights, including the ones at the shows at Walter's. How is Washington doing as far as you can see on your block?
ED: I never saw any drama at Pearl Bar or The Lot across the street. Now two months in a row I have seen fights in those places every weekend. Pearl Bar became a different place after (ex-owner) Brad Moore left. Now on Washington, the Houston Police Department has a paddy wagon to pick up people on the corners. It reminds me of Sixth Street in Austin right when it turned bad in 1991. Something has to give.
RO: So what are Walter's plans for the future?
ED: We have shows booked until April. We are not sure after that point. The landlord wants us to stay, but we need to move. Pam (Robinson, owner of Walter's) doesn't want to stay at all. The DiverseWorks situation didn't offer much in the way of parking. Walter's is a community-based venue and will stay in the Loop, though.
It would be a flop in Humble or Katy. Montrose or the Warehouse District would be optimal. Most of the people I see every night are the Poison Girl and Boondocks crowd, so Montrose would be perfect for us. We still aren't sure what is going on, but Pam is looking.