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Best Blues Club Houston 2012 - Mr. Gino's

Mr. Gino\'s

Mr. Gino's

7306 Cullen

Houston, TX 77051


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They don't make 'em like Mr. Gino's anymore. They probably didn't make 'em like Mr. Gino's in 1973, when the ramshackle but well-kept bar near 610 south and Cullen Boulevard opened. With Christmas lights on the walls, plywood partitioning and a small stage in the corner, Gino's feels more like a juke joint in rural Mississippi or East Texas than a bar in the fourth-largest city in America. (Its lack of a Web site should give you a small hint about its authenticity.) Gino's is a neighborhood bar all the time, but its real draw is the Sunday-night open jams — full of blues, R&B and soul that sticks to your ribs — that have been welcoming loyal regulars and curious onlookers alike since it opened. Although local legend I.J. Gosey had to step down from hosting duties a couple of years ago, others, like Rockin' Douglas, The Lady D and Pee Wee & Pops, have kept the tradition going strong, and Geno himself (Chevis) is still serving setups and sodas behind the bar. Provided you can find the place — look for the used-furniture store next door with the handwritten signs in the windows — it's probably the best $5 you'll spend all week.

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Obviously you're being nice to Mr. Gino's because The Big Easy has already won the category for so many years, and is still head and shoulders above Mr. Gino's. Guess it's nice you give them some exposure and recognition. We now how the Readers Choice would have turned out, had there been one.