Chances Bar, the semi-landmark at the corner of Westheimer and Waugh, may soon be no more.
Just as Mary's, Hollywood Video, Skybar and Felix's have all pretty much bit the dust, the owners of Chances have put the property on the market:
Entire block in busy Midtown commercial area with frontage on Westheimer and street access on Waugh, Waughcrest and California streets. Prime retail/ restaurant/ redevelopment space with already existing building, currently in use as a nightclub.
"It's a very hard decision, and it makes me sad to even talk about it," part-owner Anne Vastakis tells Hair Balls.
But the economy and, perhaps, a change in habits have brought some hard times.
"We have been running it for 15-16 years and loved it, but the last four years -- let's just say business has not been getting stronger," Vastakis says. "With the economy the way it is -- these mega-lesbian bars -- there are four bars there, and in the `90s they were thriving. Now, I don't know, maybe there's too much competition."
She says a number of potential buyers have expressed interest, but the relatively small group of owners hopes to sell to someone who won't change things too much. She cited Felix's and the Tower Theater as landmarks that will be redeveloped but not torn down.
"We would love for someone to keep it with the same feel it has, maybe a stay as a bar...kind of a neighborly restaurant-pub type of thing," Vastakis says. "We wouldn't want to see it won't become a Baby Gap or a strip mall."
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The owners will continue to run it as Chances until they sell, if they do.
The place has been on the market "for a couple of months, very low-key," she says.
The building was built in 1954, and the lot for sale is more than 27,000 square feet, the listing says. The bar had a brief flurry of fame last year when the punk group Girl in a Coma got into a scuffle there.
A sharp-eyed Swamplot reader (are there any other type?) first caught wind of the possibility.