HOUSTON — A historic Houston music venue will finally be closing its doors after four decades.
Fitzgerald's in the Heights will be open until New Year's Day, then gone for good.
This building at the intersection of Studewood and White Oak is exactly 100 years old but will soon be torn down to make way for new residential high-rise apartments.
Owner Sara Fitzgerald says its time to cash out and she is already on to her next project.
"I can't even begin to explain to you all the nutty stuff that happens," Fitzgerald said. "You take 500 people of the same mindset add alcohol, in a party atmosphere, in a night they'll never forget."
Fitzgerald bought the abandoned polish meeting hall 42 years ago, fixed it up, the bands started showing up and the rest is history.
"I made it like home," Fitzgerald said. "For the musicians, we fed them bought them beer. Made them feel at home."
Performers like James Brown and Etta James played at Fitzgerald's.
Stevie Ray Vaughn performed at the venue for years.
Vaughn's song "The House is Rockin'" was written about Fitzgerald's.
"We don't know who's going to be famous and who's not," Fitzgerald said. "They're just another passing band we treat them all the same."
Sara Fitzgerald is a businesswoman. With a finance background she bought the property 42 years ago and somehow made it work.
"It's a music business so I just applied the music principals to it and I managed to survive," Fitzgerald said.
She will be taking some of her employees with her on her next business venture to the Texas Hill Country where she bought a historic property in Seguin which she will turn into a bed-and-breakfast.
The Fitzgerald's property has already been sold.
"Of course you lament the change, but it's progress," Fitzgerald said. "You don't want to hold on to it, you don't want to be in the covered wagon still."
Monday night will be Fitzgerald's farewell party and New Year's Eve party after which the live music joint will finally close its doors for good.