Several weeks ago, I got a text that read: “It’s official, the Pointe Martini Lounge has reopened as a homo hut.” The concept of a gay establishment living and breathing North of downtown is always fascinating. Earlier this year, the Closet Lounge in Alamo Heights was briefly the Northernmost watering hole for alternative lifestylers, but it closed after an even briefer stint as the Flight Line, a hetero dive that advertised drink specials in white shoe polish on the venue’s tinted windows. Yawn.
Not long after receiving the text, I heard from another source that the Pointe had undergone an extreme makeover and was now equipped with dressing rooms for drag queens who were allegedly rehearsing a scantily clad, Chicago-inspired production. Visiting the Pointe became a Bar Tab emergency.
Twin owners Ryan and Reed Reygadas have been in the bar business for years and are veteran club hoppers. The fact that both brothers are straight hasn’t kept them out of gay bars. I asked Ryan if it was the dance music that attracted him. “Not really,” he said. “We just like to know what’s going on everywhere.” Earlier this year, at a time when the Pointe was catering to a hip-hop crowd, the twins decided to pull the plug and start over from scratch. What could’ve easily taken six months to accomplish was finished in six weeks, thanks to serious teamwork and ties to the construction business.
“The Far North is flooded with nightclubs and bars, and they’re all straight. We just saw a big gap in the market and decided to move on it,” said Jesse Piña, who is the president of CAP Construction and part owner of the venue. Piña scouts drag performers for the weekend shows and promotes the bar in various ways: Proudly, he showed me the Pointe’s first advertisement in the new issue of TWIT (This Week in Texas, a gay and lesbian listings publication) that reads “Everything is Pointing North.” “People don’t really know we’re out here, yet,” he told me. That’s about to change.
Several Saturdays ago, an attractive, mixed crowd gathered on the dance floor, patiently waiting for the show to begin. While the place wasn’t packed, the crowd was exactly what the twins hope to attract — a well-dressed mix of men and women, some gay, some straight. Surprisingly, everyone there had heard through the grapevine that the Pointe had come out of the closet.
By summer, the Pointe’s sizeable patio area will be covered, creating a loungy seating area for lazy afternoon cocktails and live music. Broadway-themed drag shows won’t happen all the time. “It’s a lot more work than just letting the gals select their own music,” Piña said. Drag starlets Mikayla Skyy, Jade Crawford, and Kylie Crawford seemed content channeling Beyoncé and Lady Gaga while collecting wads of $1 bills from the audience.
My second evening at the Pointe was a little different. I took gal pal Angelina Mata along to see what an off night looked like. Unlike some gay establishments, the Pointe doesn’t have that dirty, desperate feeling that doesn’t always sit well with the ladies. Almost everyone I spoke to in the small crowd was visiting the Pointe for the first time. One guy (an investment banker) had walked there from a nearby apartment to see what was going on. A small group danced in the main room under a high-tech light show that’s cooler than most in SA. Local DJ Gabriel Marestein was spinning, not because he was being paid; he was trying out some new material and having fun — it sounded great. Angelina noticed something odd about the wall separating the front bar from the dance floor. Bartender John Morales, who is also in construction and worked on the remodel, was happy to demonstrate that the wall rises on pulleys to unite the two rooms. With the wall raised, dancing green lazers pulsed along with a remix of Madonna’s “Give It to Me,” which was almost the only indication that the Pointe swings both ways. The place has a lot of potential, and with so much development on that side of town, why shouldn’t the LGBT crowd have a safe place to unwind and get their groove on? Ryan told me as we were leaving, “There are plenty of gay people living out here — why should they have to drive half an hour to go out?” So, all you Stone Oak homos, your hut has arrived. You can always go slumming on the strip, but then you’d be missing the Pointe.
— Bryan Rindfuss