Beloved Songwriter Venue JP Hops House Severely Damaged in Fire

JP Hops House in far west Houston, TX is known for its incredible selection of beer and wine, and for being one of the most friendly neighborhood bars in the city, no matter what neighborhood of the city you happen to be from.

First opened in 1980, the bar is owned and operated by Jim Fowler and Pam Herndon, and along with being a favored watering hole for the local community, it has become the home for many if Houston’s songwriters, and for many songwriters traveling through H-town—so much so that the venue also serves as the headquarters for the Houston Songwriters Association.

Songwriters and patrons alike have found a home at JP Hops House for years. That’s why the community was heartbroken when fire severely damaged the business on Sunday, July 10th. Located in a strip center, it was the only unit significantly damaged in the blaze. But as can be seen in the pictures, the fire was devastating. Co-owner Jim Fowler also sustained minor burns in the incident, but was treated and released.

The fire started right around when the Sunday night Open Mic was winding down. Though the fire is still under investigation, it is believed to be electrical in nature. A transformer on a pole outside where the fire potentially started was also burned in the incident.

The Houston Songwriters Association has been meeting at JP Hops House every 2nd Sunday of the month for many years. Along with local musicians, national touring acts also frequent the venue. Country duo Side Pony consisting of Alice Wallace and Caitlin Cannon was supposed to play the venue on Wednesday night (7-13), but were forced to cancel due to the fire.

“They have provided a wonderful, welcoming venue for all artists, from those who regularly tour to those just starting out,” songwriter Brian Kalinec tells Saving Country Music. “They are dear friends to so many of us. So many benefits for others have been held at J P Hops House. We are just trying to help them out as best we can now.”

Brian Kalinec started a Go Fund Me campaign for the venue with a goal of $10,000. Over $16,000 has been raised at time of print, speaking to how beloved the venue is to the community. Even though the initial goal has been met, folks are still being asked to pitch in if possible.

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