33 The "Lucky Lady" in 1900 Block Leopard
The Lucky Lady Bar: ain't no ladies in there and sure as hell no one ever got lucky. As kids, we would ride past this seedy place and look up the stairs to see the borrachos, or drunks for my english speaking customers. This place had it's own ecosystem and atmosphere. The stench of stale beer and urine could be smelled outside when ride past on bikes. Purposely slow down to peek inside. The bartender had some large beehive hairdo and oversized boobs at least compared to our moms around hood. Her makeup... lots of it. But she was friendly as hell, and even gave us some Cokes several times, in REAL cocktail glasses! Wow! Only place I had ever drank from real glasses like that was Hasty Tasty, Sheffields and if you could wipe the lipstick and grease off it, Noe's Café, all within spitting distance of The Lucky Lady Bar. Inside a cooler there were old school beers you can still find today: Hamm's Jax, Pearl, Lone Star, Schlitz to name a few. You could not get Coors or Strohs in Texas in 1960s, another story for another day, I am showing my age again. The wooden steps about 5-7 of them, went up into The Lucky Lady. My dad, a ex sailor, said "it was a sailor's bar" which I would have to sort of believe, as my dad rented...and sold... used bikes he fixed up to a LOT of sailors from around world who stopped by our 723 Doss a block away house, and would rent for day or week. Back inside the bar, it had squeaky old wooden floor.
I was too timid and shy to ask 'where is the smell of piss coming from' but guess some guys never made it to bathroom. Barf too. I want to say lady's name was Anita. Started with "A". My mom would have had 2 cows if she knew I went in that place, even if for a Coca Cola. In real glass. Speaking of appetizing, this place had a small stand up cooler straight back near door, (with aforementioned beers) so look directly in from front door, it straight back, and it was full of bottled beers, also looked like sandwiches. A educated guess here is that this cooler used to chill more popular beers, but main cooler behind bar. And also a possibility that placed had some 'daily lunch special' many small bars do without a kitchen...I have worked in a number of them in Houston for instance, you make some sandwiches, or big pot of queso, beef stew, something for regulars, or happy hour. I'll never know as never got that far into place!There is a side story here. One night I was staring out of our old shotgun house east window as could not sleep. We had electricity at this time as did grandma Maria D Alcala house next to it. My favorite light on her house was outside kitchen door. Everyone asleep in out house on 2009 Antelope. I see a guy dressed in total black, cowboy hat, walking on Antelope, he turns, and comes RIGHT UP TO ME in window and pulls a GUN!! The guy looked like a guy from old Gunsmoke series, black moustache, no beard, brushy eyebrows under black hat. I fell backwards into our old chair with floral pattern and hid. Got up next morning still scared. Toll momma, poppa and Tommy about it they thought I had nightmare or something. It was not until my dad saw the bootprints in driveway between houses, and up to the window he knew I was telling truth. To make matters worse, guy had shot and killed someone neat or at Lucky Lady it was reported! I probably got a trip to dairy Queen or something out of it everyone felt sorry for me. Still have that guys' face burned into my memory over 50 years later though.
Photo #1. This is what I recall the Lucky Lady looking like sans the big screen. Just seedy place, dark & foreboding, especially to a kid. Even the old Christmas lights didn't breath life into the place. There was a back door like this, probably to storeroom and/or bathroom. And ironically there was a smaller black and white TV screen in about same place. This would have been looking inside up stairs from Leopard Street. Wished this photo was 'scratch n sniff' so people could smell it ha ha
Photo #2. This NOT Lucky Lady but me at a high volume Houston sports bar in late 1990s. No kitchen. Made sandwiches and hot dogs. Doing over $100K a month. Look to the left of me, there is a old Lucky Lady cooler. And darned near identical! This was my 'buffalo wings and Shiner Bock are 2 of my main food groups' period, and have lost over 40 pounds since then. Guy on right is a doctor of infectious diseases, woud have probably come in handy at Lucky Lady
Photo #3, our old falling apart house on 723 Doss a block from Lucky Lady. That is late brother Tommy, me & dad next to car I gave to my dad. But if you look at the arrows, the one on left is "my special light" that faced Antelope. And the one I saw the evil black cowboy wearing hat guy first lit up as he walked on street, then came into driveway to our shotgun house (2nd arrow) and pointed a gun at me as a kid!
Photo #4. I wished I actually had photos of this Lucky Lady place now, as few people would believe a place like that existed in 1960s, but many of them did on Leopard After I wrote this, Rene Sandoval showed me a photo of place he took in 2003. The description of mine was from MEMORY, and guess I still have all my marbles. Ok, most of them, same stairs, same door, looks like same drunk(?) on steps. Place is gone now.