Shelby's Social Diary
Gallant Knight will take you back — to college or the heyday of the original
If I had closed my eyes and downed a few brewskies or bourbon and Coke cocktails, I would've sworn on Friday night that I was back in college (LSU for me). Inspiration for the retro mood was the first "Re-Anniversary" of the Gallant Knight, co-hosted by CultureMap.
Inside the popular haunt on Bissonnet, Klockwork played oldies but goodies as well as hipper tunes while dancers ranging in age from 20s to 60s filled the floor. Outside on the vast deck, it could've been a traditional frat scene except that the age factor went well beyond the age of matriculation. Slinging back the beer and other liquids was a coterie of regular night crawlers who love their live music and relish the camaraderie of the friendly bar crowd.
And that's just the way managing partner Stephen Schneidau and the large number of co-owners want it. Laid back yet energized and totally reminiscent of the original Gallant Knight that entertained the young at heart and young Houstonians for 34 years in a little house on Holcombe. Schneidau and friends had been regulars and even hosted two New Year's Eve parties there.
When word came that the original was closing, these guys went into a funk. Schneidau was there on the last night. "It was the end of an era for this place," he said.
Refusing to let go of the vibrant Gallant Knight tradition, Schneidau bought the parts he could haul out before demolition began — the front door, pieces of the interior — and stored them for two years at his house.
The opportunity came last year to put the Gallant Knight back on the map if at a different address and, hey, the heart of West University seemed more convenient for some anyway. So Schneidau and his brothers, Philip and Patrick, joined forces with friends to re-open the venerable night club and bar. Team members include attorney Sandy Cohen, Dr. Joe Edmonds, Brad Flemming, John Scoblick and Barry Palmer.
So far, so good. Stephen reports that weekend nights see crowds ranging from 400 to 500 and $1 cover/$1 beer specials on Thursday draw a huge turnout of younger fans. While the partners are getting a return on their investment, none are quitting their day jobs. Stephen is in commercial real estate with Cushman & Wakefield. "I do this just for fun," he said.
Fun is definitely the operative word at Gallant Knight but there is also a hint of philanthropy in the late-night scene. The $5 cover from Friday's party was dedicated to Cristo Rey Jesuit College Prep School, which serves low-income students. On other nights, KIPP Houston and YES Prep Public Schools benefit.