Stunning cars and performance art were an eye-catching combination at the Porsche River Oaks opening party. (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
High-flying acrobats wowed the crowd waiting in the valet line. Photo by Daniel Ortiz.
Jeff and Jody Dyke, Ashley Parker and Erin Dyke. Photo by Daniel Ortiz.
The grand opening party offered something special in every room. Photo by Daniel Ortiz.
Country music star Clint Black and baseball great Roger Clemens. Photo by Daniel Ortiz.
Jennifer Reyna, Jorge Olivares. Photo by Daniel Ortiz.
Hunter Hanks, Karin Chen, Dara Khleng, JT Teng. Photo by Daniel Ortiz.
Country crooner Clint Black chatted with the crowd, posing for pictures. Photo by Daniel Ortiz.
Janice Bond, Sergio Delemos. Photo by Daniel Ortiz.
Guests stopped for pictures before heading into the party. Photo by Daniel Ortiz.
DJ Senega kept the party vibes going. Photo by Daniel Ortiz.
The new Porsche River Oaks dealership's shop became the perfect pop-up club. (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Jackson Patterson, Raquael Torres. Photo by Daniel Ortiz.
Liz and Alan Stein. Photo by Daniel Ortiz.
Bailey Blocker, Ally Ondarza. Photo by Daniel Ortiz.
Lisa Gochman, Dominque McGhee. Photo by Daniel Ortiz.
Tamara Washington, Cheri Green. Photo by Daniel Ortiz.
Susan Frania. Photo by Daniel Ortiz.
Sonia Soto, Jessica Rossman, Miya Shay. Photo by Daniel Ortiz.
Karla Martinez, Angel Roman, Naimeh Salem. Photo by Daniel Ortiz.
Kimmie Gillespie, Courtney Cole-Hall. Photo by Daniel Ortiz.
A roving saxophonist entertained the crowd. Photo by Daniel Ortiz.
Kayvon Sohrabi, Dr. Roland Maldonado. Photo by Daniel Ortiz.
DLG Ice Factory created the ethereal ice wall raw bar. Photo by Daniel Ortiz.
Maria Bassa, Beth Meucke. Photo by Daniel Ortiz.
Two stories of revved-up luxury, a surprise concert from a country music legend, free flowing champagne and the sexiest collection of sports cars in Houston elevated the grand reveal party of the new Porsche River Oaks dealership for a fast and furiously ahead of the pack crowd. The Porsche cognoscenti was met with a steady stream of opulent details befitting the high-performance car maker.
The opening of the $50 million dealership, on the former site of Stahlman Lumber Company at 4007 Greenbriar Drive, drew more than 500 guests, many of whom arrived in Porsches from their personal collections. From the first red carpet step, it was evident this fete was far beyond your basic celebration. For good reason.
Porsche North America president and CEO Kjell Gruner told the standing room-only crowd that 2021 was Porsche North America’s best year. He also asked for the collective patience of those waiting on their new Porsches to arrive.
“I know you have had to wait longer for your car,” Gruner says. “Thank you for your patience. We are ready for the future at Porsche Houston.”
Biding time for a polished beauty was certainly made much easier with a Veuve Clicquot cart in the Porsche foyer, a 360 photo booth, a saxophonist and many glamorous vehicles to pose with. All ideal for Instagram influencer pictures.
The party kept on rolling from room to room, each laden with special touches like a massive ice sculpture adorned with the Porsche logo and loaded with shrimp and oysters (and the cutest mini Tabasco bottles on the side) a cocktail chemistry station with drinks created in vessels akin to tailpipes and a psychedelic, interactive art installation.
Those were just some of the elements in the 40,000-square-foot space, which is now home to one of the country’s largest Porsche dealerships. The dealership’s shop became a pop-up nightclub, with a massive digital display on one end and DJ Senega spinning at the other. The Los Angeles-based Gastro Garage served up one-of-a-kind sweet and savory treats between dance breaks.
This being a Porsche dealership and all, it was only right for the high-octane beauties to shine, and shine they did, lining the shop walls. Everyone in the crowd had a favorite ride, but popular picture backdrops included the Lava Orange 2016 911 GT3 RS, the 2022 911 GT3 Agate Gray Metallic and the 2021 Panamera Turbo S Sport Turismo in Matte Black.
The party headed up to the second floor of the Porsche River Oaks space, where two drones delivered the red ribbon to Sonic Automotive CEO Dave Smith, president Jeff Dyke and Gruner for the official opening, eliciting applause from the crowd.
Celebs and Legends at Porsche River Oaks
Topping off the full evening was a surprise performance from country music superstar Clint Black, who sang many of his hits including “Killin Time,” “A Better Man” and “When I Said I Do,” prompting sing-a-longs and some two-stepping in the crowd. Black chatted affably, referencing local favorites like Houston music venue Rockefeller’s and wished his buddy, baseball great Roger Clemens, a “Happy Birthday.”
Monarch Hospitality kept the crowd full with tasty offerings like cheese wheel pasta tossed with fresh truffle, noodle dishes complete with chopsticks, salad shelves and passed hors d’oeuvres. Deborah Elias of Elias Events helmed the extravagant evening.
Guests in the valet line ended the evening on a sweet note with pina colada popsicles and Cirque du Soleil-style acrobats soaring high above the crowd. It was a proper end to an over-the-top night for one of the world’s most lauded automotive labels and its sparkling new Houston home.