Houston locals could soon be getting a new spot to kick back for a magic show and a tasty beverage. Magic Island is actually a two-story land-locked entertainment complex that hosted magic shows, dancing, dining, and drinking in its heyday back, beginning as a private club in 1983 and eventually opening to the public in 1989. Based on photos from the Houston Chronicle, the building’s original decor might best be described as faux-Egyptian kitsch.
But Magic Island closed a decade ago, and neither time nor the local residents have been particularly kind to the space. It’s now covered in graffiti, has frequently been a home to the homeless, and was stripped of all electrical work by scavengers.
Now, the building’s new owner is working to transform Magic Island back into the entertainment venue it once was. Local neurologist Mohammad Athari is the new owner, and he’s working with Manny Fahid, a prior employee of the club, on the restoration. Their goal is to reopen by the end of this year.
Scott Wells, who hosts The Magic Word podcast, also talked to local news channel KHOU 11 about the effort to restore Magic Island. According to the magician, re-opening the club will take “tender loving care and a whole lot of money.” He even performs a quick bill-changing trick to emphasize the expense of the endeavor. Nice work, Scott.