Cowboy or Club Roxy, Galleria Nightspot Had Quite a Run

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Photo by Alexa Crenshaw
Now only memories: Club Roxy in the foreground, 2014
Quietly, the Roxy shut its doors several months back after billing itself for years as Houston's "longest-running nightclub." Whether that statement is true or not, an extensive, eclectic history lies within the now-empty space near W. Alabama and Sage Rd.

Personally, I remember the Roxy's teen night, where around age 14 I went with a group of gals, hating everything and being stuck in a crowd so thick I couldn't move. I lost my purple-and-black striped jacket that night, and to this day wish I could somehow find it. If you know where my jacket is...

Never mind. The point is, most Houston kids ended up at the Roxy -- or one of its many other iterations -- at one time or another.

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web.archive.org/
The Roxy's old Web site
For adults, Roxy was a club with a dress code, a line and sometimes a mob. People got turnt with regularity, or hosted stripping nights, boxing and thong contests. The club kept its own girls calendar throughout most of its tenure.

The very first business recorded at the 5351 W. Alabama address opened in 1966 as Norge Village Cleaners, a nationwide coin-operated self-service laundromat chain. The nearby Houston Galleria opened in 1970, and the cleaners withstood the area's intense expansion until 1977, when it became a nightclub known as Foxhunter.

Foxhunter was a disco run by the McFaddin-Kendrick conglomerate, otherwise known as McFaddin Ventures. They were rich and owned all the Houston disco places of the era, and ran this club space in particular through several fashion identities.

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Although nightlife in the Greater Houston area was still mostly country joints at the time, those in the Inner Loop attempted to be more urban. C&W clubs within the Loop were few until the the late '70s, when Gilley's in neighboring Pasadena became hugely popular. So in place of Foxhunter, Cowboy opened in 1979 as Houston's first upscale two-step saloon.

Cowboy was meant to emulate Gilley's, which already had a national reputation, but the latter club was frequented by prison-rodeogoers and veterans while Cowboy courted Houston's upper-class nightlife. Everyone was wearing Gloria Vanderbilt jeans, which were very "in" back then but now are mostly referred to as "mom jeans."

Besides Gilley's (of course), scenes from Urban Cowboy were filmed at Cowboy as well -- it's the bar where Pam (Madolyn Smith) takes Bud (John Travolta) while trying to steal him away from Sissy (Debra Winger). A January 1982 article in The New York Times' Travel section called Cowboy "a considerably more polished, suburban version of the Western dance club."


Story continues on the next page.



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30 comments
Ling Liu
Ling Liu

Diana Duong Jia Tsao LOL

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard topcommenter

I remember it originally as R&R, which was mainly a 30+ joint in the late 80's/early 90's - too old for me at the time.  My favorite story about Roxy (other than seeing Vanilla Ice perform there) was when we were up in the VIP section.  Turned out Charles Barkley was up there as well, so another friend of mine (Bobby) asked if Charles could come introduce himself to a lifelong fan friend of ours (Steve)  Well, Charles comes over to say hi and is immediately interested in the girl Steve has been with all night.  After several minutes, Steve leans into Charles and says "Dude, just throw a dog a bone!"  Charles laughed, but it didn't help.  The girl left Steve to join Charles at some private party afterwards.


Good times...

Carlos Saldana III
Carlos Saldana III

That was my spot back in the days. I remember my friend and I sneaking his moms van out just to party. After that homie Marco caught us, and called me out at the club because of the van (in front of the whole club). Good times!

markie19
markie19 topcommenter


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Jorge Sosa
Jorge Sosa

Back in the day it was good towards the end was just straight up ghetto. ..

Angela Flores
Angela Flores

That was the spot back in the day. Knew the bouncers and DJ, man that was some serious partying.

Sean Mcmanus
Sean Mcmanus

Anyone remember when they had Depeche Mode convention at the Roxy? Circa '97?

Francisco Maldonado
Francisco Maldonado

Alfredo Ramos this place was the shiznit back in the days! It's a Houston icon lol. Just like RODEO but that too is closed haha

Alfredo Ramos
Alfredo Ramos

Jessica Rodriguez The Roxy! This is where I spent A LOT of Saturday nights listening and dancing to EDM! I remember $0.75 you call it's until 10 or 11, I think!? It was nothing but shots! lol "Live at The Roxy with 104.1!" lol

Jessica Rodriguez
Jessica Rodriguez

Starlyne Trevino, Alfredo Ramos, Desiree Herrera, John Lopez

Rory Wells
Rory Wells

Back in the day it was start out at Cooters and end up at Roxy. Those were the days. Same feeling when they closed down the Tower and Sunday night Dangerous Disco

Stephanie Becker
Stephanie Becker

That was my spot...so shocked when it shut down! Lots of great memories in college

Robert Medlin
Robert Medlin

My only story is the time they wouldn't let me in for a friend's party because I was wearing jeans & tennis shoes. Adios suckers!

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