Cardi's was a mid-sized club (with a seating capacity of 2200) that existed near central Houston, Texas in the United States at 5901 Westheimer. It opened in the early 1980s, then closed without warning in 1985. However, it reopened at some point in the next year, lasting through 1987, then was brought back again from 1996-1997, then one final time from 2000-2005 (which radio ads for the last period proclaimed “the legend returns!”). At some point the club also relocated to 9301 Bissonnet Street. After closing one final time, the former site has since become a karoke bar.
The club was mostly known for hosting rock/pop bands (U2, Jerry Garcia Band, The Godz, Modern English), heavy/thrash/black metal (Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Alcatrazz, Rough Cutt, King Kobra, Dying Fetus, Cannibal Corpse, Deicide) and even some electronic groups. Many of these were “all ages” shows, allowing minors entrance into the club, although they were not able to be served alcohol.
Even though known for being a local “legend” and hosting some bands before they made it big (U2 would, after only three years from their Cardi's date in 1982, sell out the 15,000 seat concert hall of the local Summit, along with Anthrax, Metallica and Megadeth selling out big stadiums years later as well), the club also became known for its many openings and closings.
Cardi's would also become notorious for having equipment problems often, which would lead to severe show delays. In 1986 alone, those planning to attend the King Kobra show in June were told the club would open their doors from 8-8:30 p. m. and the show would start at 9-9:30. The opening band (name unknown) ended up not starting until 10, with King Kobra never hitting the stage until 11:30. With the Alcatrazz show (believed to be in November of that year), a similar statement was given from Cardi's with the start time, yet Alcatrazz did not begin their set until 11:30 p. m. This repeating event even made its way to the local publication of Public News in their upcoming events section in one edition of their paper at one point, stating that their photographer/heavy metal reviewer “Gene B. says we simply have to plug Alcatrazz. Ok, consider them plugged.” The mention ended with them stating that they would go as far as to say where Alcatrazz was playing if “...we weren’t still mad at Cardi's. However, we are still mad, so you’ll have to ask someone else.”
Online reviews of the last incarnation of Cardi's from 2000-2005 also were not positive, as it was stated from several patrons that they watered down their alcohol.
Many concert dates of Cardi's can be seen at setlist.fm