Mango’s Music Cafe – a Music Venue Where Punk is Not Dead
Punk rock is not dead, at least not at Mango’s Music Cafe there in Montrose at the intersection of Westheimer and Taft. Some may remember Mango’s Cafe as an old restaurant with a pretty good slice of pizza but within the last few years it has been transformed into the punk rock venue it is today.
We decided to check out Mango’s on a cold Friday night when the bands Silver Blueberry, Basketball Shorts, Those Howlings, and Muhammadali took the stage. This night we opted to take an Uber and are glad we did. The drinks are strong and parking around that venue sucks. Mango’s has one lot directly in front of the building, which may hold around 10 cars. Their website shows other areas where you can park but most of that is out along the streets that skirt the building. Even if you end up finding a spot to parallel park, we wouldn’t feel safe leaving our wicked 1990 forest green Grand Am (still rocking the high school subs). Parking may be difficult to find, but there is no missing Mango’s when you drive by; the outside of the building is covered in graffiti art with Mango’s written at the top of the building.
MANGO’S MUSIC CAFE LAYOUT
When you walk through the main glass door into the venue, you enter a small room with doors on each side, the glass door on the left is the entrance into the venue and the wooden door on the right is the exit out of the venue. This is the landmark where we paid our 5 bucks to get in. The cover charge is only charged until all of the bands are done playing. Most nights the bands are done playing around 1:00 a.m. and access to the venue becomes free.
The first thing you see when you enter the second glass door is the stage directly in front of you and disco ball in the center of the room. What punk rock club isn’t complete without at disco ball hanging in the middle of the venue. The stage is relatively small at 16 x 10’, but it is the perfect size for the size of Mangos interior. The stage consists of three small lights shining on the band, Christmas lights on the ceiling, two large speakers hanging from the ceiling and a stage backdrop which is comprised from a video produced by projector positioned on the other side of the room. There are no barricades in the front of the stage, so you have direct access to the band and nothing blocking your view.
Directly in the front of the stage on the other side of the room is the bar. Of course at this point we b-lined it over to see what our first drink of the night would be (O.K….maybe our 3rd or 4th of the night). The bar is around 10 – 15 ft. long with an assortment of low – premium liquors and a decent selection of beer. We decided on a vodka tonic and a Jack and Coke which ended up being 14 bucks. At this point we went back to the center of the room and found the one stand-alone table to the right of the stage, which was close to the front. The first band plugged in, did a quick sound check, and starting playing. The sound system is pretty decent and it actually sounds good for the size of the room.
Next to the bar on the right side is where you will find a very small mixing stand and to the right of the that are the coed bathrooms. Yes, you heard my correct…Not only are coed bathrooms amazing because you get to sit in piss on the seat if you are a chick, but you also feel bad for pissing all over the seat if you are a guy. These bathrooms were pretty shitty…no pun intended. Well kind of. They were littered with graffiti on the walls and were so dark you were afraid of what may lay below. It is best to go before you get to the show or just close your eyes and pray. Remember this is a punk rock club, so I guess you can’t expect Buccee’s quality bathrooms.
Mangos is exactly what you would think of when you imagine a punk rock venue. The walls are covered in graffiti, the drinks are strong and the entire place could use a revamp. If you check out Mango’s you better rock Chucks or Vans and you better bring a jacket with you in the winter because the heat probably won’t be on. At least it wasn’t when we were there. Overall, if you want a pretty cool spot to check out a good Punk show then this is place for you. If you hate mysterious bathrooms and punk music then you should probably opt out. We thought the place had a cool vibe and would check it out again, if we had a band come to town we wanted to check out.
403 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX. 77006
Mango’s website says 300, but there is a sign above the bar that says 99. Who cares about fire codes until there’s a fire anyway, right?
General Admission and Standing Room Only (Seats Available Around the Bar)
Full Bar (Moderately Priced Liquor/Small Selection of Beer)
Very little parking in the lot out front with lots of broken glass