Saturday, February 14, 2009

Farewell to the Balinese Room

During its heyday the Balinese Room was the most glamorous night club in Texas. But Will Wilson, the attorney general, did not go to night clubs and he wanted the prestige of closing it.
He sent the Texas Rangers. Christie Mitchell, the Galveston publicity man, took an Associated Press writer to the Balinese Room and told him how when the Rangers arrived the front desk set off a buzzer which alerted the game room. When they arrived at the game room they found men playing billiards. The gaming equipment had been dumped in the Gulf. The AP man wrote a story about the red-faced Rangers and this caused a flurry in Austin. The chief of the Rangers sent an undercover man into the club. When the buzzer went off the undercover man fired a shot into the ceiling and arrested everyone and then the other Rangers made it into the gambling room and took them away in handcuffs. This slowed down the B-Room, but eventually the game room reopened. However, finally all the gamblers moved to Las Vegas and the B-Room ws shuttered. Then a wealthy Houston man opened it for dining only. But the final blow occurred a couple of years ago when a Hurricane blew the B-Room away. It is sad to drive by and see a vacant spot on Seawall Boulevard where the B-Room presided for so many years.

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