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Remembering the Astrodome restaurants and clubs

The Countdown Cafeteria in the Astrodome
The Countdown Cafeteria in the Astrodome
Author's postcard collection

When Houston Astros fans attended ball games at the brand-new Astrodome in 1965, they no longer had to grab a quick hot dog or burger on their way to their seats. Every taste and every appetite was satisfied with a total of five separate restaurants (not counting the concession stands) capable of seating 3,280 people at once.

The Skydome Club was an exclusive Japanese steak house, available only to members of the 53 skyboxes at the upper rim of the Dome. It had a 210 foot elongated glass window overlooking the city of Houston and food was prepared right at the diner’s table. There was a black diorama of the universe on the walls, and clear plastic “womb chairs” were situated throughout. Each owner of a skybox received his own gold spatula, specially engraved, for servings from the gourmet tray. The distinctive china had a Skydome insignia and a royal blue motif. All the dishes and silverware together cost more than $100,000. Each box had a 30-inch silver coffee urn and silver service.

The Astrodome Club seated 600 guests and was a membership only club for season ticket holders. It was on the black level along with the press box and was decorated with an historical theme. It had lots of velvet and an exclusive men’s bar that served a full five-course meal. You could get a New York sirloin for $7.50, served on distinctive black-and-white china with an Astrodome insignia in the center. The bar was more than 100 feet long and made from one giant African mahogany log.

The Trailblazer was on the purple loge level and open to the public. Food was prepared ahead of time, kept on a “pretend” fire and served on molded trays. The dishes were green and white with drawings of various trailblazers from history. Their Texas Trailblazer Stew was a popular dish.

The Countdown Cafeteria seated 300 and had sports murals depicting ancient athletes from 500 B.C. It was at the first level of the main entrance just behind the ticket office, and it only served five or six basic items. Every plate in the cafeteria had numbers from one to ten and the word “Blast Off”.

The Domeskeller was the largest restaurant, seating 2,000 fans. It was located under the center field pavilion and had a German beer garden décor. There were plaster figures straddling beer barrels, artificial trees that were really support columns, and thin mesh wire windows that stretched all the way from left to right field, so that customers could watch the game from anywhere in the facility. Food was served on plastic plates and the peanuts were free. Beer and knackwurst were favorites.

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  • Johnnie Haltom 4 years ago

    I really liked reading Marie Brannon's article since I never saw or ate at any of the Astrodome Restaurants. It was interesting to find out what I missed. Would have loved to have seen the 100' bar made of mahogany! Thanks Marie!!!

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