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The SCENE Magazine

The ’80s are Baaaaack and Ready to Party in Clear Lake

Studio 80, Clear Lake’s newest nightclub, pays tribute to an era when Frankie said, “Relax,” Madonna was ‘like a virgin’ and Prince was king – and you can tell they take their ’80s theme seriously by the way they parked their car outside during their grand opening party last month. 

The silver DeLorean, a replica of the time-traveling machine used in “Back to the Future,” landed on NASA Road 1 and brought the ’80s back with it in full force. For those who grew up wanting their MTV (back when the music channel actually only played music videos) and those who love ’80s music, but have never seen the videos of their favorite songs, Studio 80 is “totally tubular” – the perfect place to wax on nostalgic and dance the night away.

With wall-to-wall TVs that exclusively play music videos all night long and an illuminated dance floor, Studio 80 captures the true essence of the ’80s club scene and gives a nod to legendary New York nightclubs like The Palladium and Studio 54. In fact, owner Jeff Murtha was once a bartender at Studio 54, which explains his passion for the era and accuracy in replicating it.

“It was electric back then,” Murtha said, “There was a vibe and atmosphere in the night clubs of the ’80s like no other time before or since, and I wanted to recreate that experience for our clientele. Music has a way of bringing back memories and seeing the videos that we grew up with really enhances that experience.”

Bill Byous, former DJ at J. Larkin’s (Clear Lake’s premier nightclub back in the ’80s) keeps the dance floor packed at Studio 80 with tunes from Michael Jackson, Prince, Depeche Mode, Wang Chung, George Michael, Duran Duran and many more.

“Like J. Larkin’s back in the day, Studio 80 is a place to go, meet with friends and dance to great music,” said Byous.

Open Wednesday through Sunday, Studio 80 offers a variety of drink specials and promotions. Wednesday night, for example, is “Country Night” with $2 Longnecks and $1.50 well drinks – featuring country music from the ’80s and ’90s. On Thursday, Studio 80 goes ’90s featuring music from both the ’80s and ’90s with $2 Longnecks and $3 Crown & Down drink specials. 

On Sunday, the “After the Lake Party” on the patio is sure to hit the spot with drink specials, live bands and kabobs on the grill.

The dress code is strictly enforced Friday and Saturday nights (no ball caps, tank tops or saggy baggy pants), so come “dressed to impressed” to get in the door, or better yet, get radical and wear some totally awesome ’80s attire and they will waive the $5 cover charge.

- Shawn Domingues