Restaurants / Bars / Closings

Controversial Rice Village Club Owner Shutters His Bar, Sells to High-Rise Developers to Spite Neighbors he Warred With For Years

Red Graffiti Taunts Mark His Exit

BY // 01.10.18

It may be a pyrrhic victory for both Bar Bleu’s owner and Robinhood condos residents, longtime combatants in one of the city’s longest running and most bizarre feuds. The Rice Village neighbors have been at each other’s throats for years, and now one can argue either side won — or lost — depending on how you look at it.

What’s certain is that Bar Bleu is closing and shuttering for good.

Robinhood residents, who filed noise complaints against the bar below them for years — calling the police on a daily basis for stretches — finally succeeded in getting Bar Bleu owner Adam Kliebert out of the neighborhood. Kliebert has accused the residents of egging his car and intimidating him.

And while Kliebert may have washed his hands of his night club at 2506 Robinhood, he’s still playing a little dirty.

His exit move? Making sure the residential building doesn’t offer Rooms with A View. The first stage is temporary. Kliebert painted “HAHAHAHA” and “KARMA” in red on Bar Bleu’s roof and driveway.

By 1:30 this afternoon, the graffiti had been largely washed away. The letters’ outlines remained, along with scattered flecks of red paint in the gravel.

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“I just came up with the idea,” Kliebert tells PaperCity. “First, I sprayed the outline. Then I thought ‘that’s not good enough.’ I went to the hardware store and got some red paint.”

Now, Kliebert thinks “I probably should have waited to do it. I didn’t know the media would be called.”

The longtime bar owner swears he doesn’t know how the media got involved, and says he did not anticipate the story would snowball the way it has into one of the lead stories on local news stations.

While the graffiti eyesore will surely be cleaned up, that concept of karma will linger, according to Kliebert’s own Facebook posts. “I recently sold the land that the club sat on to a real estate developer who will build a 20-story high rise,” he wrote, noting that the new tower will block the views of the Robinhood condos.

“I just came up with the idea,” Kliebert tells PaperCity. “First, I sprayed the outline. Then I thought ‘that’s not good enough.’ I went to the hardware store and got some red paint.”

That’s not all the former owner had to say. “Karma is a b****” he posted, and “After seven years of torment from these sub-humans who live in this disgustingly hideous building, I can finally say ‘what goes around’ comes around.

When the feud first took off nearly a decade ago, Bar Bleu was called Hudson Lounge, also owned by Kliebert. All the drama started before the bar even opened, Kliebert says. “It was a problem from Day One.”

Robinhood Homeowners Association president Mark Thuesen called him up as soon as he heard that his new neighbor would attract nightlife, Kliebert says. “He said he didn’t want a bar by his building.”

In a city with no zoning, a commercial building on the lot was legal, and Kliebert went ahead.

Bar Bleu 1
There’s no love lost between these neighbors.

He and his clientele were antagonized from the start, he claims. In addition to constantly calling the city and the police, Robinhood residents allegedly began throwing things at Kliebert and others — sometimes from dangerous heights, like 14 feet. “They threw eggs, ice, even a watermelon,” Kliebert says.

The Robinhood Homeowners Association declined to comment

Kliebert filed a suit against Robinhood Condos and Thuesen, in February 2011. It was finally settled last year.

In the lawsuit Kliebert alleged that Thuesen had spat on him and intimidated him by standing across the street from him and staring, along with making obscene gestures.

He also claimed sabotage, stating that Thuesen and Robinhood staged shots of empty bottles and glasses outside of Hudson and then sent the pictures to the TABC.

Theusen and Robinhood quickly filed a counterclaim. Thuesen claimed that he only spat on Kliebert after the bar owner had brandished a gun at him from inside his car.

The Bar Fight’s Aftermath

While the suit dragged on, so did the drama. The name change and rebrand to Bar Bleu didn’t diminish the neighbors’ frustration or efforts. “They continued to do the same things they did with Hudson,” Kliebert says.

Still Kliebert insists he tried to appease the condo association, and tried to work with some of the residents. “Some were my friends, they’d come over and have a few drinks. I got to know them,” he says.

In March of last year, he insulated the ceiling of the club to deal with the noise complaints. It seemed to resolve the sound issue, but it was too little, too late.

“They killed the business,” Kliebert says. “I never wanted to sell my land in the first place. They forced my hand.” He got a solid offer from a developer and decided to take it. He thinks the developer will start tearing Bar Bleu down next week.

“I tried to work with these people,” Kliebert says. “Believe me, I did not want to be a bad neighbor.” For all of his battles with Thuesen and his friends, Kliebert says he feels bad for the people who lived there and weren’t involved, especially “the old people.”

Fortunately, according to Kliebert, most of those people live on the other side of the building. “The jerks live on the side that’s going to be blocked by the coming high-rise,” Kliebert says. “I can only assume and imagine it will be like living in a closet. You’ve got a view, but instead of downtown, it’s going to be a building.”

For now, Kliebert’s going to play it by ear, but he’s probably going to leave Houston soon. “I’m sure the neighbors will be happy to hear that!” he says.

He’ll travel for a year. His new business ventures are in California, including some in Silicon Valley.

“Mainly, I’m heavily invested in Crypto (a digital currency),” Kliebert tells PaperCity. I bought into some luxury travel companies, like Airbnb but yachts, villas, mainly on the Mediterranean.”

He closed the deal on the building last year and leased it back for 11 months. Now, those 11 months are up. Bar Bleu’s not shut down quite yet. There’ll be a sort of farewell party this Saturday.

Kliebert knows what to expect from his last hurrah.

“I assume the cops are going to come.”

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