Rocbar Houston, our city's fauxiest faux rock and roll bar, located above Verizon Wireless Theater and the Hard Rock Cafe in the Bayou Place complex, has shuttered its doors after four years in the game. The club, claiming it is temporarily shutting down for retooling, had this to say on its Web site:
Rocbar has closed after more than 4 years of successful operation to make way for the biggest and most dynamic entertainment destination in Houston opening in Winter 2011.
It remains to be seen whether or not "Winter 2011" means this coming January/February, or sometime at the end of next year. The folks over at the Examiner seemed to be shaken up by the closure, with one columnist memorializing the spot like it was some rock and roll Valhalla.
Rocks Off never "got" Rocbar. It seemed like a place to go for people who wanted to play the rock and roll part, but didn't want to live it. It was the sanitized, safe version of a rock bar, but we could tell it was hella fun to a lot of people, so we understand the loss. But if Lola's Depot in Montrose is a family-run taco truck on a street corner, Rocbar was the Taco Bell in the food court at the mall.
Rocbar was routinely lumped in with other "rock" bars like Dirt Bar off Yale, and Scout Bar in Clear Lake. Rocbar did host shows, and they actually had a decent live sound system. Punk legends the UK Subs' upcoming Oct. 14 Rocbar appearance has been moved to Fitzgerald's.
For our money though, Dirt Bar is and always will be the most inviting of the three. Rocbar, along with in-house girlie counterpart Mosaic, was a popular after-concert spot when shows let out at Verizon downstairs.
It was perhaps best known for the scantily-clad Suicide Girl-esque waitresses and dancers, and dim, red lighting. Most nights it was very much a Buckcherry or Avenged Sevenfold video come to life, with faux-hawks and guyliner ruling the days and nights.
It remains to be seen what this "dynamic entertainment destination" will turn out to be. Most everything in the complex, sadly, is dead or dying. The nearby Angelika Theater just closed down. However, a new Brazilian joint, Samba Grille, just opened a few months back a few doors down from Verizon, so there may be a resurgence afoot.
Wonder where all those dancing girls will be going to now...