People are spilling out the door of this little lounge on Almeda, a rare sight for a Monday night. Most bars in this area are ghost towns, closed for the night to avoid the dreaded weekday slump.
But not Café 4212 (4212 Almeda). On Mondays, the cozy lounge straddling the Museum District and Third Ward is packed.
"Hey man! Hurry up! We've been waiting for you for an hour now."[jump]
An older, dapper man looks at his watch impatiently while his friend, dressed in an updated, hip version of nerd attire (complete with sweater vest) swaggers up to the door. He's cool as a cucumber, and grins and makes his way up to the group.
This Andre 3000 lookalike is in no hurry, but his friends are. After all, the music is about to start.
There's a good reason for the massive crowd. Cafe 4212 normally hosts live jazz, blues and zydeco, but every Monday since last Labor Day Debonair Lounge has welcomed many of Houston's up-and-coming urban artists. And even more of their dressed-to-the-nines fans.
On these nights, as the the city's hottest rappers and R&B crooners perform, the crowd preens and struts.
"Ooh, girl! Look at those heels!"
A group of gorgeous women are posted up by the door, talking and laughing as they bob their heads to the smooth-moved soul singer onstage. As a leggy, dark-haired beauty strolls past, something other than the music has caught their attention: her shoes.
"Those are the cutest things I've ever seen! I love those. Hey! I love those!"
The most fashionable member of the group waves her down, traipsing after her and clutching her Chanel bag closely. She's here for the music, but those leopard heels are way too chic to ignore.
Story continues on the next page.