AvantGarden inhabits a history-embedded turn-of-the-century Kraft house. Here, families once celebrated the stages of their lives, loved laughed and finished out their days; the public now calls it Home.
Among the very last remaining midtown/lower Westheimer structures surviving the relentless erasure of historic buildings from Houston’s collective memory, the venue has transitioned identities from a private home where Howard Hughes played as a child, later a half-way house, and finally an abandoned crack house before it was purchased and twice repaired by Mariana Lemesoff, once in 1996 as The Mausoleum, a bar, live music and artistic venue, re-opening in 2000 as Helios, which continued supporting the creative community.
In 2007 it received a complete restoration/adaptation as AvantGarden, which draws patrons both from surrounding Montrose and Museum District neighborhoods and from afar with its plethora of nightly events.
On any given night of the week one can experience Argentine tango, poetry, experimental music or jazz by internationally acclaimed musicians, an original theater production, a wedding, local rock band armed with homemade instruments, a benefit for the less fortunate, flamenco, fire spinners, carnies and belly dancers in full swing, an open birthday party, life drawing session, a string quartet, a touring Thai band, exhibition of paintings, an local filmmaker’s movie screening, a party given by your friend…the list is exhaustive.
Though a well kept secret (Avantgarden doesn’t advertise) the New York Times named AvantGarden as one of the top must visit spots in Houston.