Extremely Well Hidden Bar Off Willowbend Blvd. Now Impossible To Find

Vacant Strip Center, 4122 Willowbend Blvd. at Craighead Dr., Westwood, Houston

Former Carolyn's Bar at Vacant Strip Center, 4122 Willowbend Blvd. at Craighead Dr., Westwood, HoustonCarolyn’s, the dive bar at the corner of Craighead and Willowbend Blvd. across the train tracks from the Willowbend subdivision closed sometime around the end of last month, a reader notes. Back in 2008, the bar at 10711 Craighead Dr. won the Houston Press award for Best Hidden Bar. For years, Carolyn’s (pictured at right, behind the “canopy”) was the sole remaining tenant in the dilapidated but once-stylin’ classic 1959 strip center with vintage details stretched along that corner. Now, reports the reader, it appears the 18,600-sq.-ft. center is entirely empty — despite the remaining sign facing Willowbend for the Fruit of the Spirit Community Church (“Developing Fruitful Lives,” above).


Vacant Strip Center, 4122 Willowbend Blvd. at Craighead Dr., Westwood, Houston

County records indicate the strip center at 4122 Willowbend Blvd. is owned by Melcher Investments — the same company that 2 years ago renovated and renamed the Melcher Crossing strip center near the Galleria at 4218 San Felipe.

Photos: Swamplot inbox

Everybody Out of the Strip Center

5 Comment

  • Crossing the train tracks there on Willowbend reminds me of driving into a Twilight Zone episode, specifically the first one, “Where is Everybody?”. Like a mini ghosttown.

  • I grew up around the corner from there in the Westwood subdivision and in its heyday that strip was a happening place. My dentist was there as was the beauty salon where I went to get my haircuts. So sad to see it dilapidated. I always wondered how the bar survived with such little exposure/traffic. As Dana-X said- it is like crossing into a twilight zone.

  • Well its surprising that it’s lasted this long, but when you’re the only watering hole in the desert you don’t have any options. I’ve heard rumors that they were going to remodel for about 2 years now. Hopefully now that its completely vacant they can start the clean up process. I’m hoping for a good neighborhood bar with quality beer, Emmit’s and Hunter’s Pub aren’t it.

  • Any idea what the Melcher’s plan to put over there?

  • Following up on this – newish resident with an interest in real estate development. There is an abundance of underdeveloped real estate in the area and it looks like a wave of development is making its way slowly down South Main. With the Inner Loop housing market as it is I have to think it can’t be too long before developers turn their attention to this area. I was in this bar a couple of times and liked it, pity to see it go under – my only guess is that their lease was up and the owners want to do something with the property.