“Caged Exotic Pets” a Promised Feature of a Nightclub to Open in Downtown Houston

HOUSTON — A 6,000-square-foot nightclub called Babylon opens in Midtown Friday and promises an “exotic caged animal” attraction, according to a press release from nightlife group Jet Hospitality announcing the club’s opening.

The club is located at 612 Hadley St. in the former Howl at the Moon space.

“Houston was initially the natural next step for expansions due to its welcoming atmosphere and lack of luxury nightlife,” said Maral Pourarfaie, director of expansion for Jet Hospitality. “We think we can really make an impact here and bring Midtown back as the destination it was once known for.”

“Houston’s newest nightlife attraction (is) fully equipped with exotic animals in cages,” the press release read. “Guests can expect an experience that will transport you back in time and immerse you in Babylonian culture with interactive and performance-driven evenings.”

A camel is shown on a chain clip in a video on the club’s Instagram page.

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The Denver-based hotel group said it was “on its way to shaking up the nightlife scene with superior service, gilded embellishments, a splendid ancient Persian theme resembling the Hanging Gardens of the famous city of Babylon and a house music paradise.

The press release continued: “The seating arrangement will invite various groups of people, large or small, and bar seating will be available for individual parties. They will host in-house DJs and celebrities showcasing a variety of genres. The space has been transformed to include high ceilings and an inviting dance floor.

“Babylon will lay the groundwork for what we are trying to achieve here in Houston. To provide this unique yet sophisticated experience that you won’t find anywhere in the city,” Pourarfaie said.

Commenters on Babylon’s Instagram page called for protests noting the inclusion of animals in the club.

User jaymarroquin wrote, “Lots of great places to go in Houston. Don’t support an (expletive) company like this that couldn’t care for a live animal.

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Another user, unepomme6 wrote:@peta it is animal abuse. Expect protests.

KPRC 2 heard about the club opening from PR firm South House Public Relations, which represents Jet Hospitality. The firm released this statement: “All exotic pets are professionally escorted outside of the nightclub and are never inside. They are fenced in where they have their own space and are not subject to being petted by the public. They are guarded and only there to be seen.

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Jerry C. Greiner