2 Cool Fishing Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Yep...
Joined
·
752 Posts
They reopened it, and they usually have live entertainment from Thur-Sun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
414 Posts
A lawyer from Houston purchased the place and remodeled it. I was actually on the crew that helped remodel the place when I was in college. It was a fun job.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,942 Posts
In my youth on the island the front of the Balinese under the lights was where literally thousands of trout were caught when it got right. If any of us had a dollar for every speck caught under and around that pier we could retire.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30,257 Posts
My grandfather liked to play poker there after WW2 - told me it was the only honest big $$ game in town where you felt safe. Club took 5% of the pot for "services". Ie you got $95 of chips for a $100 bill. he played cards one night with Frank Sinatra

from: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Balinese Room was a well-known nightclub in Galveston, Texas built on a pier stretching 600 feet from the Galveston Seawall over the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. For decades a dance hall and illegal casino, the Balinese Room was remodeled and reopened in 2001 (minus the gambling). It also operated for a time in the 1970's or 1980's. In 1997 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Balinese Room is again on the market. A real estate sign was noted May 30, 2007.
Operated by Sicilian immigrant barbers-turned-bootleggers Sam and Rosario Maceo, the Balinese Room was an elite spot during the 1940s and 1950s, featuring entertainment by Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, George Burns and other top acts of the day. Patrons of the private club included Howard Hughes, Sophie Tucker and wealthy oil barons from nearby Houston.

The Balinese Room was originally opened in 1929 as "The Grotto," one of the many entertainment venues that had begun popping up along the Galveston Seawall (along with bathhouses, dance and supper clubs, many of which were illegal casinos).

In 1932, the Grotto was remodeled into a Chinese restaurant called the "Sui Jen" (pronounced Swee Rin), and a 200 foot pier, stretching out over the Gulf, was added to the building with a T-head at its end. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the name was changed to the Balinese Room, and the decor modified accordingly. The pier was also expanded to its current 600-foot length. The Balinese Room's private back room was equipped with the most modern gaming equipment, and the Maceos' advertisements invited high rollers to "Come Down and Play on Galveston Island."

The club's illegal gambling made it a hub of mob activity. It was well-known that the casino, at the far end of the pier, was operating in violation of the law. But the Maceos had many allies in the local government and on the police force, so charges were never filed. The sheriff of Galveston County at the time, when called before the Texas Legislature to testify about why the club remained open, replied that he wasn't a member of the private club so he couldn't get in.

In 1956, Will Wilson was elected as Texas' attorney general after campaigning to "close down Galveston" and its illegal casinos using the Texas Rangers. The Rangers set up shop in a hotel near the club, and raided the casino often. But their efforts were thwarted by the length of the pier - by the time they ran down to the tail end of the long, narrow club, tables, cards and chips had disappeared into secret wall and floor pockets. The band often would strike up the song "The Eyes of Texas" upon their arrival.

The Rangers did eventually shut the club down, but not through heavy-handed tactics - they simply sat in the casino all day, every day. Customers, intimidated by the Rangers' presence, began to stop coming. As a result, business was so bad that the club eventually closed its doors on May 30, 1957. [1]



After sitting vacant for 20 years, the Balinese Room and its pier are now owned by the state of Texas. A local attorney, Scott Arnold, took out a 60-year lease on the pier, and as of 2001 had reopened the Balinese Room for business. In addition to the Balinese Room itself, which is used for live music, parties, and weekend public dining, the pier has a salon, retail shops and a massage therapy room with a glass floor. It is located at the intersection of 21st Street and Seawall Boulevard
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,937 Posts
Went there in the late 70's/early 80's with a buddy who I drove down from Dallas with, we went in and had a few cold ones, I think it was right before it closed down, place had a live band playing at the time.
 

·
They call me............PAWPAW!
Joined
·
3,020 Posts
Me and my prom date, along with another couple, went there for dinner before the senior prom back in '82 I guess. I was a freshman and she was a senior, so the guy from the other couple drove:D, which left me and my date ridin along in the backseat of that big ol Oldsmobile.................
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
...................and then we dropped our dates off and went home.

(due to the "family" nature of this board, the preceeding post was self-sensored to prevent me having to go to banned camp)
 

·
Member..Whats wrong with my member
Joined
·
5,533 Posts
by ZZ Top

Deep in the south of texas
Not so long ago,
There on a crowded island
In the gulf of mexico

It didn't take too much money,
Man, but it sure was nice.
You could dance all night if you felt all right,
Drinking whiskey and throwing dice.

And everybody knows
It was hard to leave.
And everybody knows
It was down at the balinese.

Yeah, I remember ruby,
She always dressed in red
Wearing skintight pants, lord, and how she could dance
With a rag wrapped around her head.

And everybody knows
It was hard to leave.
And everybody knows
It was down at the balinese.

And everybody knows
It was hard to leave.
And everybody knows
It was down at the balinese,
It was down at the balinese,
It was down at the balinese.

Kelly
 

·
RAIDER POWER!!!
Joined
·
5,697 Posts
Prom date

Was your prom date your current wife or did you take this lady? :D

triple f said:
Me and my prom date, along with another couple, went there for dinner before the senior prom back in '82 I guess. I was a freshman and she was a senior, so the guy from the other couple drove:D, which left me and my date ridin along in the backseat of that big ol Oldsmobile.................
.
.
...................and then we dropped our dates off and went home.

(due to the "family" nature of this board, the preceeding post was self-sensored to prevent me having to go to banned camp)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
494 Posts
we went to the Balinese in April I believe.
Our friends played there.Soulful Tears from Alvin.
Wonderfull night wonderful memories.Listen to the band play,and hear the surf breaking,
go outside and smell the salty air straight from the Gulf.
I heard the owner at that time had gotten sick.And the bussiness went to \\ jsjij'.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,211 Posts
cole said:
I think thats where the new Hooters is now.
The new Hooters is where the old Island Grille used to be.
 

·
Chest deep in the Blanco River
Joined
·
1,838 Posts
I've been scrounging around and collecting the old Balinese and 'Maceo' era chips for over a decade. I have most, still looking for a few.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,423 Posts
The Maritime Academy had their formal dress blue Christmas parties there in the at least until '71. Quite an impressive place to bring your favorite girl and future wife.

There was another place off 45 on Offits Bayou called the Gamboa Cay. Spring dress whites formals were usually there. It was another great place.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top