A bar in the downtown sky

Scott Gertner's at Houston Pavilions keeping the salsa, improving the view

Scott Gertner's at Houston Pavilions keeping the salsa, improving the view

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Houston Pavilions Courtesy of Houston Pavilions
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Scott Gertner's Skybar
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Courtesy of Scott Gertner's Sports Bar Live
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Courtesy of Scott Gertner's Sports Bar Live
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Scott Gertner's at Houston Pavilions, slated to open in spring 2011, has much to offer devotees of his now-defunct Skybar.

For one, you can't have a much more impressive view of downtown than from the roof of a building in its midst. The new place will include an enclosed roof bar and open-air terrace, as well as a VIP lounge with a private balcony and a second level of cabanas replete with bottle service.

Although he's making some major upgrades from his last home, Gertner tells CultureMap that some things will hold steady.

"First and foremost, the quality of music and entertaining experience will stay the same," Gertner says, with his band performing on weekends and Skybar's Thursday Latin salsa tradition also continuing.

Gertner says on Sundays they'll strive to recreate the atmosphere of La Strada's heydey with patio D.J.'s on the roof.

The buzz is already growing, and Gertner says he's had several athletes, including Andre Johnson, inquire about hosting their birthday parties at the new downtown club.

Most exciting to me (and approximately half of Houston) is Gertner's new free valet, free parking for the ladies policy. Female clientele will valet or validate their parking in the Houston Pavilions garage and cross to Scott Gertner's via a closed skywalk.

"If my female clientele feels comfortable at all times, you have a successful nighttime business," Gertner says. And how right he is.

The policy was one of the selling points for Gertner and Pavilions principal and developer Geoff Jones, who calls Gertner's new place "the perfect wedding of a location to a use."

"It's in lockstep with the mix we initially envisioned for the development — a new interpretation of a Houston institution with a loyal following," Jones says.

Houston Pavilions is also awaiting the arrival of three new tenants (who will be revealed once leases are finalized) and began the process this week of moving 1,400 people into NRG/Reliant's tower, according to director of marketing Phil Hudson.