The Montrose Mining Company
and the bars at 805 Pacific Street

With the closing of EJ's at the end of June, 2014, the Montrose Mining Company became Houston's oldest gay bar,
and that reign ended September 8, 2016, after over 38 years.

Photo courtesy of Doug Barnes, late 1980s

It opened 3/25/78, but there's gay bar history at the 805 Pacific Street location before that. In January 1977
Uncle Charlie's opened as a combination restaurant and bar, though its ads gave the impression the restaurant
part was phased out as it later billed itself as "Houston's Newest Cruise Bar," and it lasted just over a year.

But before in gay publications in February 1975 showed the Pacific Street Station at that address,
not sure if it stayed in business until Uncle Charlie's took over the space. And, there is one more, by late 1970
The Tattooed Lady was in that location. Again, unsure if it remained until the opening of Pacific Street Station.
If anyone has additional early history, please let me know.
Here they are in order...

The Tattooed Lady

This information is from the publication The Nuntius (1970 to ~1976), and I have actually seen
very few issues of it, so I am piecing the info together. It was not mentioned in the Sept 1970
issue, but was in Feb 1971. As it is often hard to document when a bar closed, all I can
determine at the moment is that a new bar was at the location in August 1975. I can tell you
that no bars were listed at that location in the last issue of The Albatross, Fall 1968.

Pacific Street Station

The photo of the outside is from the gay travel magazine Ciao, 12/74, so considering the lead
times for articles like that, the club was open probably several months before that date.
And at least at the time of the second ad (8/13/75), Pacific Street Station was a show, or drag bar,
and shown are some very popular performers, like Tiffany Jones, Torchy Lane and Eartha Kitt.
I do not know if the bar continued in operation up until Uncle Charlies opened in January 1977.
This club is not to be confused with the bar Pacific Street that opened later at 710 Pacific,
which at that time was the site of The Barn.

Uncle Charlie's

The opening in January 1977 got good coverage in This Week in Texas,
over just a few months the focus changed to being a cruise bar. The
club was short-lived, closing in March 1978.

The Montrose Mining Company

The start of an iconic bar in Houston, opening March 30, 1978 and closing September 8, 2016


...but, WAIT....!
The Montrose Mining Company was ALMOST called The Nail!

I learned this from my own website, in my new Cruise Magazine section.....
in the March 1978 issue there was a full-page ad for The Nail, making it appear
it was already open. I thought, wait, that's the address of The Mine...I guess
there was a last minute change, too late for the magazine ad deadlines for
March and April. By the July issue they had the correct name ads
though. The Dallas location was in business but it appears not for very long.
Not sure if they were Frank Caven bars. It does not appear a version in
Fort Worth ever opened, as there were no listings in the TWT Guide section.


below, 1980


below, ad from July 1981, and a reminder that these bars,
owned by Frank Caven were all connected, now including
the Cherry Creek Mining Company in Denver

[ I happened to visit the Denver bar in July 1981
can vouch that it was a totally different vibe than
the clubs in Dallas and Houston, more of a disco ]


Montrose Mining Company
Softball Uniform
Monstose Softball League (MSL)
probably from 1982


Pride Parade Entry, 1983



Pride Parade Entry, 1984

above, recent internet post of 1984 photo

Brian Broussard DJ

Pride Parade Entry, 1985

above, Montrose Mining Company & JRs, in 1986 Pride Parade







Some random photos from Facebook, year unknown

if anyone knows the year for these, Please let me know


Closing Announcment

there's an error in the announcement, as the club was open for 38 years

above, renovation 9/15/18...patio gone
below, 4/18/18, photos by Gary Jackson



photos below by JD Doyle, 5/2/19

Finally, it's ready...

photo by Jenn

Some trivia you might not notice....for the Postino's street sign...
it's a definite nod to where they are, and simply says "Montrose,"
done deliberately in the same font as the first gay bar there,
The Tattooed Lady, early 1970s

From OutSmart, June 2020
By Brandon Wolf

May 19, 2021

The Montrose Mining Company Owners

Frank Caven

Charles Armstrong

In 1986 Charles Armstrong bought the Houston clubs Montrose Mining Company,
JRs and Heaven from Frank Caven. Heaven's predesor was called South Beach, and
Meteor was also acquired later (closing in June 2016).
Armstrong was Pride Male Grand Marshal in 1989.