Houston has known for a little while that Blanco's days are numbered. About six weeks ago, the Houston Chronicle reported that the honky-tonk in River Oaks had been sold to nearby St. John's School as part of a 13-acre land deal to expand the independent private prep school, which has a student body of about 1,200.
Back then, the headmaster of St. John's said there were no immediate plans to redevelop the property, but just how long Blanco's has at its current location became a little clearer today. According to Swamplot, "a source close to Blanco's ownership" says the bar needs new quarters by November or its 30-plus-year tenure as one of the few (if not the only) true honky-tonks in the Inner Loop would be over.
The source also said that Blanco's plans to relocate "somewhere in the area," and left it at that.
Real estate nearby isn't cheap, but it is available. The first place that came to mind was the old River Cafe on Montrose between Alabama and Westheimer, which lay empty for years and now appears to be a vacant lot. In Midtown, we walk by a vacant restaurant/bar almost every day that's just sitting there at the corner of West Gray and Milam, though parking could be an issue there.
On the other hand, Washington Avenue has a few vacancies these days, such as the newly closed Sawyer Park.
Blanco's has had its ups and downs over the years, in terms of the quality of music it offered, but lately had been bringing in some reliable names like Jesse Dayton, the Hollisters, Jason Allen and the Derailers. It would be a shame to let it go completely, so hopefully the owners will be able to find a new building that suits them, and that they can afford.
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