Big News: New Pegstar Music Venue, White Oak Music Hall, Gets Underway
Got a nice surprise in the inbox this week: the Pegstar folks have officially released their plans for their long-promised new venue, which they’re planning to have up and running early next year.
The new place is going to be called White Oak Music Hall, a name that has pretty lofty aspirations and a nice historical tie both to the current Pegstar venue, Fitzgerald’s, at White Oak and Studewood, and to overall Texas music history, calling to mind storied places like Gruene Hall. I’m liking it, and given these guys’ work up to now, I’m hopeful that it lives up to the name.
Going one step beyond Fitzgerald’s (and other local venues like Warehouse Live), the new venue’s actually a “complex” of multiple performance spaces, some of which appear to be separate from one another on the five-acre property — there’s an outdoor concert area, there’s a big, two-story space, and then there’s a small indoor space. That’ll give the Pegstar folks a whole lot of options for booking and hosting shows, which is very cool for them and for folks like you and me who go to those shows.
The venue will be located at 2915 North Main, actually not all that far from Fitz — it’s basically northeast of there, just east of 45, south of Hollywood Cemetery, and right on Little White Oak Bayou (which, yes, makes the name fit even better). The outdoor area is the southernmost part, it sounds like, between the building(s?) and the bayou, so you’ll be able to watch bands play while looking south towards the Downtown skyline; nice touch, there.
They’re pulling out all the stops when it comes to designing the place, bringing on Rice University architecture prof Troy Schaum as the main architect. Check out the renderings the Chronicle has gotten their hands on, up over here (love the clip-art hipsters, y’all!). Schaum says the outdoor area will be visible not just from the ground, but also from a roof deck and balconies — kinda like the upstairs balcony at Fitz, except, y’know, outside. There’s also an existing tower on the property, but I’m not sure if that’s going to be someplace you can actually go inside or not on a regular basis.
I’m seriously, seriously psyched about this. Not only will it be a cool new purpose-built place to go to see bands play — and seriously, when was the last time a new one of those opened in town? The Meridian? — but I think it’ll also be an anchor that’ll draw other bands to come through Houston who might not otherwise make a stop. That’s my hope, anyway. Oh, and it’s not far from the MetroRail, apparently, which is also a cool thing.
Now, for the down side: what’s this mean for Fitz? Once upon a time, I know the Pegstar gang was planning on buying the venue, but it seems like that’s fallen through. Will this new venue mean that all Pegstar shows will shift northeastward, leaving Fitz empty most nights? Or are there going to be enough shows to go around for both venues at once? Pegstar has been largely responsible for revitalizing Fitzgerald’s, and I’d hate to see the place go downhill if they essentially leave. We’ll have to wait and see what happens on that one, I suspect.
In the meantime, I’m looking forward to seeing more about the new venue in the near future; more info when we get it.