Fitzgerald's Reopens With A Hint Of Things To Come

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Photos by Jim Bricker
For more photos from Thursday's reopening, see our slideshow here.

"I want this place to be the nexus of local music. It's going to be the anti-Mangos," Omar Afra told Rocks Off as he points out the changes made to the second floor of Fitzgerald's on Thursday night as its first night of grand re-opening festivities wound down.

"I remember coming here in seventh and eighth grade, with cigarettes, and asking the bartender if it was cool to smoke," Afra reminisced. "He said, "What the hell do you think? It's a nightclub."

We were under the main stage area's new chandelier. It was one of the first things we noticed, and gives the upstairs room a ballroom vibe.

For Afra, the Pegstar team and most of the older folks (read: over 25) milling around Thursday night catching up with friends, Fitzgerald's was our first introduction to punk and indie culture. It now rests in more than capable hands that understand the venue's sentimental and regional value.

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The place, both upstairs and down, has been completely repainted, mostly flat black and maroon. The walls are decorated with show posters from local artists like Jermaine Rogers, Dann Miller and Shelby Hohl. A Morrissey print sits on the wall next to one for Robert Ellis' Summer Fest appearance, to bring home the Houston aspect. (Blind presale passes for Summer Fest 2011 are now on sale at freepresssummerfest.com, by the way.)

Regal red wallpaper covers much of the second floor's walls. The venue has four working bars. The showcase is the bar downstairs, which was hella busy Thursday night with the new bartenders learning the computer system. The hipster girl ordering 25 shots for her friends probably didn't help matters. Someone's economy is going to be in the gutter this weekend, more than likely.

Balaclavas bassist Brian Harrison came up with his own description of the new Fitz.

"It reminds me of a cheaper, dirtier House of Blues." he said as we waited for that aforementioned lass to get her fruity girl-shots.

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