Pam Robinson, owner of Walter's on Washington, has been keeping busy.
"I've been working on this since the first week of February," Robinson said of her plans to move the longtime Washington Avenue music venue to a new location. "I signed all the contracts, I presented all the plans to the city, and I'm still waiting for permits.
"I don't know why it takes so long," she added with a sigh.
She's trying to be patient, but like many of the club's patrons, she's ready to get off of the Washington strip.
"It's a terrific building," Robinson said of the new building. "It's bigger, it's nicer, and Walter's just doesn't fit in with what Washington Avenue has become."
As the rest of Houston's bars-to-be-at continued to build, adorn themselves with bright lights and fill customers with high-priced, fruity beverages, Walter's remained the same music-loving, minor-friendly hangout it has always been.
Now, Robinson said, "It's just time to move."
Presently, one of the headaches Robinson has to deal with involves the parking situation. While there will be plenty of places to park at the new location, though patrons may have to pay at a meter, one of the city's departments is holding things up.
"I can say that there's more parking there currently, and there are plenty of parking meters," Robinson said. "But I just don't have city approval yet."
She hopes to receive approval soon and is taking her fifth set of blueprints to the city early next week.
"I'm pleading with the city to let me do this," she said. "We're ready to apply for a permit from the state, but we're still waiting on approval from the city."
Robinson does things the right way. She won't move in without all of her permits. And in spite of the delays, her spirits are still high, and she's excited about the move.
"What's really nice about this building is that it will have the same feel as Walter's - kind of a cozy feel - but it will be more spacious," she said. "And I want to do more. I want to do workshops during the day, especially during the summer when kids are out of school."
While many mistake Walter's for a club, especially given its soon-to-be-former location, Robinson's ambitions are much higher and very much community-oriented.
"I want to do a lot more during the day," she said. "And I want to offer free Internet for people who are hanging out."
Besides escaping the monster that is the Washington strip, Robinson feels that Walter's will receive fewer noise complaints at its new location, which will be beneficial to both the venue and performers who come and perform.
"I think it will be great for the local music industry," she said. "Right now, there are neighbors behind Walter's, and that kind of took a toll on me and my pocketbook. But the new place, it's an industrial (area). There are no residences right behind it."
The move will also give Walter's a chance to shine the way other local music venues such as Fitzgerald's, Mango's and Avant Garden do. When you drive up to Walter's' new location, you won't get disoriented by a sea of bars.
"Right now, if you come to Walter's on a Friday or Saturday night, we get lost in the mayhem, and we don't need that. We've got minors coming in. We're not a club, and alcohol isn't our emphasis. Our emphasis is on the music."
Although the new address was revealed on a flyer that was posted on Hands Up Houston (and then Rocks Off) Monday, Robinson said that Walter's is trying not to advertise its new location until it receives approval from the city.
"We're just trying to get everything in order, and then we'll announce it."
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