Victoria nightlife helps residents return to normalcy

Ismael Perez By Ismael Perez

Sept. 13, 2017 at 4:47 p.m.
Updated Sept. 13, 2017 at 4:47 p.m.

Woman sitting inside the Moonshine Drinkery.

Woman sitting inside the Moonshine Drinkery.   CONTRIBUTED PHOTO for The Victoria Advocate

The familiar sound of bands warming up at 9 p.m. echoed through downtown Victoria as residents returned to bars and clubs as recovery progressed after Hurricane Harvey.

Jake Truss, who performs regularly throughout the Crossroads, said artists are itching to go back on stage to help their fans regain a sense of normalcy.

"We are out there trying to bring something positive in times that aren't easy," Truss said. "Music itself is a healer. From an artist and a listener standpoint, it's an escape that helps put aside day-to-day life."

Musicians and bar owners are anxious to revive the Victoria nightlife and bring entertainment to residents who depend on weekends to unwind and relax.

Greek's 205 opened the Monday after Hurricane Harvey after sustaining minor damage from the storm, said bar owner George Charkalis.

"We felt that if any of our regular customers were looking to get back into their routine, we wanted to be there for them," he said.

The 10 p.m. and midnight curfews hurt business, but more people started coming in after they were lifted.

Charkalis said 205 regulars were appreciative the bar was open for them and that the building did not receive much damage from the storm.

"We were glad that we were able to be there to provide some of the regular routine for those folks who make us a part of their lives," Charkalis said.

Jon Paul Hull, co-owner of Moonshine Drinkery, said the past few weeks have been a blur and he does not remember the first day the bar opened after Harvey.

The bar, however, has a list of performers scheduled through the month of October. The Scott Taylor Band was the first band to perform after they re-opened Sept. 6.

Hull said one of the main reasons Moonshine opened soon after Harvey was so the employees could get back to earning an income.

"If they aren't working, they aren't making money," he said. "Go out, have a cocktail and reward them for their good service as much as possible."

Russell Fowler, who has been a DJ at 205 for five years, said he has seen the crowd size at bars heading the right direction when it comes to going back to normal.

"People want to laugh a little bit and see familiar faces they see once a week. They want to tell their story about Harvey," Fowler said. "It's almost like social therapy. That's what a night club or bar is, a place where you can check and see how people are doing."

After Harvey struck, Truss kept busy and started a company for tree removal, building fences and fixing roof damage.

He started the company after some out of town companies were over pricing their services for Crossroads residents.

Truss said he quoted some of their jobs for half the price others were asking for their services. He said it was trust and confidence Victoria residents should have with each other as neighbors.

As he has been rebuilding homes and neighborhoods through physical work, Truss looks forward to performing to help people recover emotionally from the Harvey devastation.

"Everybody keep your heads up, keep swimming up the stream," Truss said. "Just make sure and keep positive thoughts, it gets better by the moment."


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