The new millennium was shaping up pretty badly for club pioneer Pam Robinson. After a long dispute with a couple of NIMBY newcomers to her 'hood, she was forced to shut down Walter's Ice House, her beloved Durham Street bar. What's more, the longtime music fan was frustrated by Houston's limited array of nightlife options.
What's a woman to do? Well, if you're Robinson you reopen Walter's a few blocks away, this time around as a music venue as well as a bar. And then you buy Silky's next door and Mary Jane's across the street and call the whole thing Pamland Central -- which for a while was the closest thing Houston ever had to a Sixth Street.
Uniquely for Houston's far-flung, clique-ridden club scene, you had the option of digging blues at Silky's, country and rockabilly at Walter's and indie rock at Mary Jane's (which she redubbed Mary Jane's Fat Cat), all within spittin' distance of one another. While that phase is over -- Silky's closed about two years ago, and Walter's generally doesn't book the name roots acts it once did -- Walter's and Mary Jane's still play host to some of the most memorable shows in town. They've given the indie rock community a vital outlet for touring bands.
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And watch that space -- the ever- restless and creative Robinson never stays still for long.