From Mattresses to Music: Eastdown Warehouse Delivers
Anyone even a bit familiar with the people behind the warehouse district's newest music venue will tell you to put the emphasis on "work" in that phrase. The operators of the club, located at 850 McKee, have a big vision for it, but they're not waiting for a fully finished product to do any or all of what they have in mind. They've rolled up their collective sleeves and have presented more than a dozen events in the two months the venue has been running.
"We want to support all of the artistic community of Houston by bringing it all together in one space," says Jesus Flores, the club's co-owner. "We plan to showcase music, art, fashion, even Houston's food, with local food trucks."
Flores didn't just happen upon the expansive room he and business partner Steven Rodriguez are reimagining as an arts haven. He ran a furniture-delivery business from the space for several months before convincing the building's landlord to allow him to shift from Houston's mattress needs to its musical ones.
Flores said his neighbors, places like The Doctor's Office and Ponderosa, have been welcoming. Eastdown Warehouse affords what many of the other local spots can't -- space, and lots of it. There's a large outdoor deck for smoke breaks and an oversize lot for the food trucks that will wheel in on occasion to feed show-goers.
"A lot of those people are now hanging out at our spot, too," Flores said of the music fans who frequent warehouse district spaces. "We don't get fucked with here; the police don't bother us about how many people are here or the noise."
Inside, there's a hand-built show stage and a small art gallery, where local artists' works are on display. There's ample bar space, clean restrooms, offices and a gargantuan dance floor. Think of a more upscale version of Walter's, just swank enough to host private functions, and you're on the right track.
This may all sound ambitious for an upstart, but Flores and Rodriguez have the benefit of some talented and experienced cohorts alongside them. Adam Rodriguez, a veteran in Houston's music industry who has brought national acts to Houston's House of Blues and other venues, books shows for Eastdown.
He brought U.K. punk legends the Vibrators in last month and has up-and-comers Crystal Bright and the Silver Hands and NYC's Spirit Animal booked for November. The venue also enlisted "Senior Jukebox," the former Mangos barkeep, into its ranks.
His animated and expressive love for music automatically gives the place character. Flores and Rodriguez have friends and family in long-running local bands like Always Guilty and FUSKA, and have leaned on those ties to strengthen their position in drawing hometown acts to the venue.
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