Is Numbers’ Number Up? “Former Nightclub” Available for Lease

“Montrosians are freaking out,” writes SL, one of several readers lighting up Swamplot’s tip line with reports that the building housing Numbers has been listed for lease. A flyer making the rounds from Davis Commercial, identifying the property at 314 Westheimer as the “Former ‘Numbers’ Nightclub,” says the 9,000-sq.-ft. building, which comes with its very own 23,088-sq.-ft. “parking field,” is available at a rate of $18 per gross sq. ft. The flyer shows photos of the DJ booth and main dance floor, but doesn’t mention any allowance for buildout.

But uh . . . Numbers hasn’t announced it’s shutting down. Even the ever-polite Nancy Sarnoff is unable to parse the apparent paradox:

the operator of the 32-year-old iconic music venue says it’s not closing. And the property owner says Numbers isn’t being kicked out. . . .

Davis Commercial’s Mark Davis, the broker hired to market the space, says the owner would like to “retenant” the building if he can find the right operator.

SL notes: “They have a several upcoming shows and events still on the calendar so it might be a case of staying open til the very last minute.”

Photo: Swamplot inbox

59 Comment

  • This place was the unofficial weirdo hangout of the H

  • But where else will creepy old goths hit on hot young goths??!!

  • Well lets be real-the present tenant has not exactly kept up the place.. look at it.

  • Where will all the underage girls go to drink and the overage women go to dance?

  • It would be nice to see someone dress the place up and make it a nice club. That location is killer.

  • I worked concert security at Numbers in the late 90’s. Each event was a unique and interesting experience.

  • From management, Numbers is NOT closing. Not sure how this is going to play out, but there are shows booked for September 22nd.

    Of course you don’t care Kim; you have no sense of history, aren’t from Houston and didn’t grow up going to shows/80’s night there; so I all but expected your apathetic response.

  • Where will Of Montreal play when they come to town?!

  • Make that…..I worked concert security at Numbers in the late 80’s. Showing my age.

  • Norhill you would have seen me there, though I was always one of the quiet girls standing in the back, especially during the Replacements’ puke throwing extravaganzas.

  • Seeing a 20-something goth chick take a cat o’ nine to an excited 50-something man dressed in nothing but a black leather thong on Halloween 4 years ago is among my favorite memories of Numbers.

    All the same, that much land, on Westheimer, so close into town has got to be worth a fortune more than running a dilapidated old club. I’m actually surprised Numbers lasted this long, I just hope they make it til New Year’s, also a good time there.

  • Numbers MUST NOT DIE. Is NOTHING sacred?

  • Also, is Montrose having an identity crisis or just coming of age? So many places that made Montrose, well, “Montrose” have been falling by the wayside in recent years:

    Proletariat, Mary’s, Cafe Artiste, Ernie’s on Banks, Skybar, the “old” Half Price books in the church, Mings Cafe, Bookstop, the 8th incarnation of the Tower Theater, the list goes on.

    Even the Fiesta on Woodhead is likely counting it’s days as the construction commences just across the street. Diedrich’s(on Montrose) barely escaped a disenfranchisement buyout with it’s name intact.

  • Agreed SL – add to the list Emo’s and Club Some, La Jaliscience, Ale House just to name another few. Gentrification can suck the character out of most neighborhoods, but hey there are alot less homeless teens, crack dealers and hookers on the street in Montrose in recent years!

  • SL:
    People probably said the same thing when the Blue Iguana became the Proletariat, when Brother’s became Diedrich, when that other place became Cafe Artiste, when the Alabama Theater became Bookstop and when Cody’s became Skybar.
    All the locales that make Montrose Montrose to you and me were probably considered interlopers by a lot of people when THEY first opened. Places come and go. It’s just the natural evolution of a neighborhood, IMHO.

  • but tacotruck, as you highlighted the places of yesteryear were usually replaced by something else. recent years have seen the demise of many landmarks with few new places picking up the torch.

    but numbers would be a huge blow. even though it was all long before my time, the list of greats that played there in the 80’s makes my head spin. walters should just move to numbers cuz i can’t even bother to go there anymore even though i have no clue just how bad it is these days.

    the changes of yesteryear also didn’t coincide with a sharp rise in property values that will certainly ring a death knell of the ‘trose for the hipsters. the doctors are moving north and with the medicare money still flowing endlessly permanent change is all but guaranteed.

  • Before Cafe Artist was Chicago Deep Dish Pizza, which was a repurposed UToteM and Fiesta on Dunlavy used to be Weingartens. Still Montrose to us natives.

  • Houston has no history, we’ll just pave over it..

  • If something with less noise and fewer drunk and disorderly clients moves in, this cool old duplex on Avondale that backs up to it might actually sell.

    But without Numbers, it just wouldn’t feel right over there.

  • Tacotruck:Excellent points, except at present, a lot of those places have no successors. Mary’s, Bookstop, Prolo, et al sit vacant

    I’m wondering what will become of the Fiesta, perhaps a Dollar General?

    I vote roller rink!

    Maybe the Menil peepz will snap it up, they seem to have cash and can’t go east because St. Thomas is in the way.

  • Numbers in the ’80’s? the EIGHTIES???? You young pups, it was Numbers in the mid 1970’s! We’d park the car somewhere, have either an empanda dinner at Marini’s or a potato dinner at the Spud-U-Like followed by ice cream dessert at Udder Delight, then head to Numbers and dance our underaged asses off there, have a refreshing drink and snack and rest at, what was that nice cheery place in the yellow 2-story house on Avondale, I think it began with an R, then walk across Westheimer to dance some more at Club Lamour (whose ungrammatical but convincing slogan ws “L’amour Les Femmes”) with all the lipstick lesbians and big gay-male bouncers. Geez, and now I’m in pajamas by 8:30 pm. Where’s my liniment?

  • Miz B Smith,
    If you remember the 70’s, you’ll remember that after the original #’s, it was Babylon, one of Houston’s best ever gay dance clubs in the 80’s – before becoming #’s 2. It had a shirt stint as a gay country bar before being reborn as simply #’s.
    I think it was Old Plantation before it was ever #’s, a drag show club that even my parents went to at least once.

  • John, thanks. I’ve always wondered what the place was before it was Numbers…and what its *original* function was.

  • Lower Westheimer seemed comfortable for everyone back then. Gay or straight, it didn’t matter as long as you behaved yourself and danced your ass (legal or underage) off.

  • Let us not forget to add Antone’s to the list.

    @ Miz, my aunt used to work at the Spud-U-Like.

    @ Extrovert Ya, I was pretty bummed to see La Jaliscience go.

  • I can hardly wait for the retro cool, pre- distressed Numbers t-shirts!

  • Driving through that area one can see many restaurants that may look interesting but I would pass because some of them are militant gay and look at you funny if you’re straight (had that experience at Starbucks on Montrose south of Westheimer. So, is there a list or an obvious way to tell whether it’s a normal restaurant or the one that “serves you in the rear”?

  • The only thing militant gay is your imagination.

  • commonsense: You’re living in a very small world. I hope you’ll eventually join the rest of us.

  • Hey Commonsense-
    I think you are a secret agent provocateur.
    What name did you used to post under?

  • Commonsense, you are an ass again today.

    Harold Mandell, is commonsense chi-chi enough to be a secret agent provocateur?

  • Commodesense:

    This straight guy was at your “gay” S’bucks the day it opened, and several hundred times since; as recently as last week.

    Maybe your homophobic fear led to a perceived “look” – or maybe, just maybe you seemed “closeted”…and therefore available.

    …or maybe it was your body odor.

    Your post was certainly odiferous.


  • Miz B, I think you may be on to something…..

  • SL and Joel:

    If we are making generalizations about where the neighborhood is heading, don’t forget that for every place that closes without a new tenant (e.g. Proletariat) you have to discount it by one new establishment that doesn’t open amongst the ruins of a valued predecessor. What was in that old house before Feast?

    Also, in my last post, I can’t believe I forgot to point out that Ming’s used to be Big Franks, and is now Little Bigs. If that is not progress, I don’t know what is.

  • Old Plantation was where the Admiral Linen is now.

  • Rumor has it that the Caven/Armstrong block is for sale (JRs, Mine, South Beach) anyone hear anything.
    Is it finally last call for Montrose??

  • Beat me to it, EMME! My first club at the tender age of 16….

  • Lol, I guess I’ll take the provocateur title. But what happened at Starbucks explains the Militant Gay remark. I was waiting for my coffee and a fat black guy with dreadlocks dressed in a pink dress walked in nonchalantly. I chuckled to myself and pointed him out to my wife. Evidently one of the fruity barista guys overheard me and almost climbed over the bar to pick a fight saying he knows kungfu.

  • All together now:

    “Everybody was kung fu fight-ing…(neener neener nee nee nee) “Those cats were fast as light-ning…It was a little bit fright’ning… (neener neener nee nee nee)”

  • Miltant gay is an oxymoron, up there with miltary intelligence and jumbo shrimp. To each their own, but your xenophobia would look pretty ugly on anyone.

  • Commonsense, are you sure you didn’t insult George Clinton? Either way, I’d be threatening to kick your rump too.

    Speaking of kicking, I still wear the most kick-butt pair of Nocona cowboy boots ever made, purchased at Oh Boy Boots on the corner of Westheimer and Montrose in 1984.

    Houston is turning into milk toast.

  • “neener neener nee nee nee”

    Gah, i just sprayed Diet Coke through my nose!

  • RIP Numbers! So sad…some of my best 80s concert memories…X, Big Boys, Iggy Pop…though my memory for those shcws is a bit fuzzy for some reason…

  • It’s so funny when stupid tiny dicked white men describe any bunch of people that refuse to take their shit as “militant”.

  • I chuckled to myself and pointed him out to my wife.
    Sounds like the problem is that you’re militant rude.

  • Agent provocateur means pretending to be something you’re not in order to stir up a fight.
    Ol’ commonsense is the screen name of some droll queen with a sense of humor who justs shows up (on a real estate blog of all places) to talk some homophobe trash in the supposed voice of a supposed straight bigot.
    But it’s obviously made-up, because the stories don’t sound credible. And even my narrowest suburban friends don’t sound as close minded and ignorant as that.
    But I did think the heavy breathing and chest heaving he did over the name Montrose Mining Co. was a hoot.

  • You boys play nice

  • #22-John,

    It looks as if prior to 1974, different people owned different lots in that block and a person named Wren started buying the different parcels. Do you know if he originally built the place as a club or was it another business completely? Joe Matranga may have owned one of the lots.

  • Nice, some of you guys read too much into jokes and come up with anti-gay conspiracies (I guess yall have some personal stake in that). It’s quite simple, I live near Montrose and have to drive through there daily and see all kinds of weird sights. Hence, whenever there’s a Montrose story on Swamplot I chime in. Making fun of the cupcakes around here is something of our neighborhood passtime here and everyone participates including restaurant owners, drycleaners, etc. so I have plenty of joke material to work with. Besides, most other stories are boring today.

  • The Metropol!! Bring back the Metropol!

  • Commonsense: It would be really boring if everyone were the same. Those “cupcakes” bring a lot of life to the inner-city, a quality I find lacking in most suburbs. Please realize that they’re not weirdos, they’re just different from you. Life’s a lot more fun when you learn to enjoy diversity, however extreme.

  • True, they have the right to play hokie pokie with their buddies, and I have the right to make fun of them for it, everyone wins.

  • Please don’t feed the trolls.

  • Re: clubs @ 300 Westheimer. There was a strip club ,which was torn down.Bev Wren opened ‘The Million Dollar City Dump’ (a dinner theater-a bit ahead of its time for Houston).Then Mrs. Wren formed #’s with several “silent partners”.#’s was the Studio 54 of Houston.The Hottest gay club in Houston ,in the late 70’s. Then it became Babylon,then #’s 2,currently run by Bruce Godwin. The list of acts that have played at 300 Westheimer is too long to list. God forbid if it ceases being a nightclub. The ground would open up and swallow the building.But it has been a club for over 25+ years. And the awesome memories. Not another place like it !!

  • At least I had the pleasure of playing on that roomy stage! Thank you Numbers!

    The Expat

  • That building is and will always be #’s! The memories of the good times, the friends that have left this World, and the spirit that was and remains there cannot simply be bottled and sold to the highest bidder!

  • WELL,I kind of worked there in ’00 it will really suck to see it go.

  • Some of the best nights of my life began at #’s. That was the 80’s dance club to be at. The bands owner Bruce Godwin had play there is phenomenal. Not to mention he was a great DJ. Can’t wait for the next reunion, hopefully….

    It was the place to be to get your groove on, and search our the hottest wildest H-town women. Yeah, some were young(er) but were super hot and no harm was done there. Never. Just pure fun!

    I don’t see #’s ever going away. If it does I purposely won’t go to that area ever again. It’s that personal.

  • I’ve had more than my share of fun there since 86….but I’m surprised its still open. The scene is just not capable of pulling in the community support needed to create the type of energy it once held. And music taste has changed as well.