Open Tab: Things Are Changing, Holmes

Pull up a chair, start a tab and order a round of shots, because this is Rocks Off's weekly roundup of the goings-on in the Houston bar scene. Ups and downs, openings and closings, we will cover it all. Hit us up with any hot tips at craig.hlavaty@houstonpress.com.

During our travels last week, Rocks Off got to partake in the pleasure that is the Hideaway on Dunvale for steak night on Tuesday, which included the magical blues stylings of Rick Lee & The Night Owls. Lee and his band do ZZ Top, Bobby "Blue" Bland and B.B. King covers. We also witnessed the man playing his axe with the leg of a chair and licking the strings at one point. It was a good night for everyone, and we're sure the guitar had no complaints either.

Decades on Richmond is turning into Jackson's Watering Hole. The long-running gay bar is turning into what looks to be a Washington Avenue-style patio bar. The bar's Facebook page has been chronicling the changes every few days leading up to its re-opening this coming Thursday night. If we ever leave Grand Prize, stay tuned for a report in the next few days.

Last-minute news from Dan Electro's: Sundance Head, former American Idol finalist and son of Texas R&B legend Roy "Treat Her Right" Head, is having a free tour-rehearsal show at the upper Heights venue at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Head's touring band this time around is the Fo-Paws, former Guitar Center King of the Blues and Jug o' Lightnin' slinger Aaron Loesch's current project.

We will be covering the unveiling of the new Fitzgerald's this Thursday, as the Drums and a cast of locals usher in a new period for the historic venue. Let's just hope that the crack bartending work seen at Mango's the past year doesn't migrate to the new operation. It's frustrating to tell someone seven years younger than you how to make a Jack & Coke five or ten times the night.

Congratulations to DJ Sun and everyone else involved with RockSteady Mondays, which celebrates its fifth anniversary at The Flat this evening. Joining Sun will be the folks behind Washington D.C.'s Farid label and Brooklyn's DJ DRM, who founded not one but two labels himself, Bastard Jazz and BSTRD Boots. Expect much smoothness, plenty of funk and all the beats you can handle starting at 9 p.m.

With a resurgence of its beer and food menu, Rudyard's has been getting really cool lately. They also acquired Rogue Improv on Thursday nights to spice things up. The improv troupe had been slugging it out upstairs in the sauna of AvantGarden up until last week. The cover is only $5.

While we weren't looking, the Wet Spot on West Gray morphed into Junction a few weeks back. The crowds we have seen there have been a sight bigger than the usual traffic the Wet Spot was getting. We heard through the grapevine they are making strides to compete with the other sports bars in the area, snagging a deal to show games played by the University of Texas Longhorns on the college's own cable channel. Keep West Gray Weird?

Fans of Warehouse Live will soon have another bar to troll before and after shows once the new Little Woodrow's opens across the street. Lucky's Pub has always been a decent place, so we can't see making a change unless Woodrow's has a really kick-ass jukebox and is somehow Grand Prize. Until then we will be eating boneless buffalo wings at Lucky's and watching SportsCenter on a loop.

Anyone know anything specific about the Blue Moose Lodge on Washington? We should be hitting it up soon. The Web site makes it seem like a singer-songwriters' roadhouse, like if Anderson Fair's dad owned a car dealership, plus it really wants you to listen to "She Talks To Angels" on full blast. The claim to have comfort food, a couch and a fireplace. But being on Washington, that may mean that there will be puking, people passed out on said couch and burning things in the fire. Let's hope for the best.

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