Night Life


J.R. Rosenstein, a tall, crazy-eyed member of local rock band My Own I who's currently hanging out at far west Houston's Blue Door (11124 Westheimer), is all

kinds of fun. In a span of about 50 minutes, he manages to accomplish the following:

1. Park his own car (the nerve!), then respond to a valet's warnings that it will be towed with "You can try...and I'll fucking kill everyone in here."

2. Get into a pop-locking dance battle.

3. Unironically use the phrase "that's how I roll" while talking to a Houston Press reporter.

4. Accidentally yank a small metal post out of the floor of the raised VIP area while using it to perform an impromptu pole dance.

"That pole," smirks the bumping and grinding Rosenstein, "is not cool."

A tiny bit of property damage seems a fair price to pay for such an ­auspicious start to the evening, especially when you consider that it's the Blue Door's official grand opening. Again.

For seemingly the 50th time this decade, the space at Westheimer and Wilcrest has opened its doors as a new business. Previously, it was a sushi bar, Japanese restaurant, Goth hangout, etc.

Here's the kicker: Rosenstein is in relaxed mode. My Own I isn't even performing tonight. The band is just taking in the scene, passing out free CDs and chatting up customers to promote its September 11 show here.

Looking on, one of Blue Door's two owners is less than enthralled with Rosenstein's antics.

"Yeah, that's the kind of thing we're trying to stay away from," says Mike, who asks to be identified as half of partnership "Mike and Mike at Night" rather than by his last name.

"We want to be an upscale place where people can go and have a good time," he says. "We want to be known for doing live rock music, but we don't want the place to get tore up."

Rosenstein's activities may have prompted the owner to voice his concern, but not wanting the Blue Door to get torn apart is something the two Mikes discussed even prior to opening. They're reasonably sure their desire to keep their furnishings intact won't discourage customers from visiting the club.

"Caucasians, Asians, Spanish — they can all come out," says Mike.

You seem to be missing a group there, sir.

"I've had too much bad luck with blacks," elaborates the co-owner with a chuckle. African-American himself, this Mike has opened two predominantly "urban" clubs in the past: "The pants hanging down or the grills in your teeth — I can't handle that type of brother."

"If you're white, you can dress like that all day long," he adds with a full-on laugh this time. "We just wanna keep the riffraff out."

Blue Door's interior basically looks like someone plucked a lounge out of Midtown and plunked it down in the Westchase Shopping Center. The main bar area, which is nearest to the stage, is mostly marbled tile with a couple of tall glass tables. Bottle service is required in the two VIP areas. Directly behind the saucy DJ — "We wanna toast to Blue Door and a toast to anal sex on the first date" — is a raised lounge section stuffed with white leather seating.

When framed with music from some hard-edged bands such as LEAF, Melovine and My Own I (of course), Blue Door definitely emits a certain glossy rock and roll vibe. Mindfreak Criss Angel would feel right at home here.

"Once the word gets out about this place, I think it's going to be really good," says graphic designer Brandon Shaver. Blue Door, Shaver thinks, will eventually be a better live-music draw than other outside-the-Beltway spots like Scout Bar (18307 Egret Bay Blvd., Clear Lake) and Gary's Spot (14083 FM 2920, Tomball).

Rosenstein, meanwhile, has his own designs on the place.

"I can definitely see a Mötley Crüe-type band getting fucked up in Blue Door," he says — which, good or bad, is more than most strip-center nightspots can claim.


We'd like to give LEAF a big ol' hat-tip for their performance at Blue Door's opening-night festivities. Because of some lighting difficulties, the band pretty much played in the dark. Nonetheless, the Houston quartet owned the stage for a good 20 to 30 minutes — particularly wily bassist Chris Kubecka, who at times was a bouncy, bouncy madman. Prior to seeing LEAF at the Blue Door, we had never even heard of them; since then, we've been telling everyone about the band like we've been fans for years. Check LEAF out online at, purchase their album, First Kill, on iTunes and see them live Sunday evening at Scout Bar.

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Shea Serrano