It's cool, it's hip, it's Thursday night bingo in the Heights

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Would you think we were crazy if we told you one of the coolest, most fun things to do in Houston is play bingo on Thursday nights at the old Czech Pokrok Lodge in the Heights area?

Well it's true. Playing bingo at the S.P.J.S.T Lodge has been a pop-culture sensation for years and it continues to grow in popularity. How popular? The doors open at 5:15 for 7 o'clock bingo, but by 6:30, sometimes earlier, the place has usually reached its maximum of 700 people and the doors are closed.

What makes it so popular? People from all walks of life, ranging from senior citizens to neighborhood folks to Heights yuppies fill the hall for beer, burgers and bingo. It has even become a place for singles to meet. Folks can bring their favorite bottle of wine or liquor and they can bring dinner, usually a pizza, or buy food and snacks at the hall.

If you are wondering what S.P.J.S.T means, it stands for Slovanska Podporujici Jednota Statu, Czech for Slavonic Benevolent Order of the State of Texas.

The lodge, which is dedicated to preserving the Czech culture and helping the community, opened its doors in 1965, but the Lodge's history in Houston goes back to 1911.

Most people who go there to play bingo, don't know the history of the lodge, they just like to have fun with their friends and play bingo.

Bingo prizes range from $110 for the simple games to $625 for the cover-all game. Bingo pads cost $5

You can bring wine and liquor but no other beverages. The lodge sells water, soft drinks and beer.

The lodge is located at 1435 Beall at 15th St., just west of the Heights.

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