Take a Trip Down Memory Lane at the Club Westerner
Scrolling through social media I have started to see a social media post about Club Westerner pop up on my feed via the Texas Dancehall Preservation Inc. Facebook page. It brought back so many memories. Below is a more detailed description of the history of the historic dance hall. The Club Westerner is part of so many of our memories. I mean, chances are, at least once that you have been to a wedding or Quince, private event, or benefit there. There has also been so many great Country and Tejano dance throughout its storied history.
Personally, I remember my parents going to see Little Joe and Ruben Ramos all of the time and also the traditional Sunday 'tardiadas' which seem to be a thing of the past for the Tejano culture. I mean just look at the picture below. Who remembers the white ceiling? Below is a timeline of the transformation of important dates for the Club Westerner thanks to James Villafaranca.
The Club Westerner was built in 1927. The square footage of the hall was approx.. 6,855 sq. ft at the time of opening. It's hard to believe that this iconic dancehall is about to celebrate 100 years!!!!
Let's jump ahead to 1965:
- Mr. John Manual Villafranca purchased the Club Westerner in 1965 from Mr. Walton. For many of us, Mr. John Manuel Villafranca is the Club Westerner. His spirit lives on today as his portrait hangs over the front door.
- In 1965 Mr. Villafranca closed in the patio that used to be there and added new restrooms, a band dressing room, and a storage area. The bar was moved from the west side of the hall to the south side of the hall. The expansion was about 608 sq. ft.
- In 1975 the lobby of the dance hall was remodeled and additional storage was added. This expansion included an additional 1007 sq. ft. to the dance hall.
- In 1978 the stage was made larger.
- In 1992 or so a new bar was built and moved back to its original location. New restrooms were installed and moved to their current location. The way we all know the Club Westerner today.
- In 2012 the lobby, restrooms, and seating areas were remodeled.
- In 2017 the ceiling over the dance floor was removed. They now have a vaulted ceiling. They are absolutely incredible.
- The last remodel was in 2018, in which we redid the ceiling over the seating area, and added windows on the south side of the hall.
- Today the Westerner sq. footage is 10,030