Two bars that have served generations of Houstonians announced they will close due to COVID-19. Alice's Tall Texan Drive Inn, a dive bar in The Heights, and Wild West, a country music dance hall near the Galleria, both issued their last calls on Thursday.
Known for its frosty chalices of ice cold Shiner Bock and Lone Star, Alice's Tall Texan has operated on N. Main Street for 36 years. With a friendly, come-as-you-are atmosphere and low prices, Alice's ranks at the top of most lists of Houston's best dive bars.
In an announcement on Facebook, the bars stated it will sell off its inventory beginning Friday, July 31 and Saturday, August 1 from 3-7 pm. Those who purchase at least a 6-pack will have the opportunity to take home a chalice or beer mug as well. A sale of the bar's memorabilia, including its neon signs, will be announced at a later date. The statement concluded with a tribute to the bar's customers.
Lastly, we want to say THANK YOU to all of our customers, employees and business partners for the past 36 years. Y’all are the reason we became known as a great dive bar, best place to drink if you’re broke, friendliest bars…we are eternally grateful to have been a part of your lives including the countless celebrations or allowing us to lift you up when you were down. ALICE’S TALL TEXAN IS NOTHING WITHOUT ALL OF YOU. We love you and thank you from the bottom of our #chALICES!
Wild West's Facebook post about its closing tells a similar story. Originally opened in Spring Branch as Midnight Rodeo in 1981, the bar became known as Wild West in 1983. It moved to its current home on the Richmond Strip in 1998. Throughout its history, people have two-stepped across its massive dance floor to loads of (mostly) great country music.
In her announcement about the closing, Wild West's Ticia Sly shared her thoughts on the bar's significance:
For me personally, Wild West was where I met my husband and raised my children. For 28 years, I called it home. I made some great friends, and met a lot of amazing people. So with a heavy heart I say goodbye to an old friend. Thanks for the memories.
Bars have been closed twice in Houston and throughout first Harris County. The first took place March 16 when County Judge Lina Hidalgo ordered the closure of all bars and restaurants to limit the spread of COVID-19 and remained in effect until May 22 when Gov. Greg Abbott allowed them to reopen as part of "phase 2." Abbott ordered them to close a month later on June 26 following a surge in COVID-19 cases.