La Linea, Mini Vegas

Whatever you called if you anywhere in the Lubbock area.

By A. Govea



If you wanted beer or liquor to take you went there. Lubbock was the largest dry county in the country, so the folks there had a shared monopoly forever which allowed for price fixing by this smug and entitled group. According to a report on the Lubbock A.J. Newspaper Fort Worth based Majestic Liquors owned most of the stores on the strip. But perhaps among the most popular package store was Pinkies known not only for beer and liquor sales but for their barbeque sandwiches and even more so for their gizzards. You could buy them by the half dozen or full dozen. They were so popular with area folks that people that had long left the area when they went back to visit a stop at Pinkies was top of the list, including this writer.


            Once the weekend hit the lines grew on the Strip to maybe a mile long with flashing lights welcoming you in. Having to drive there was a drag, but also added to the excitement of TGIF. The worse part was when it got close to closing time people would haul A** to get there before closing. And if you missed out, that meant the party was over or there was your friendly bootlegger. Most thought all those people went out with the end of probation, and you would be right, but not in Lubbock. Of course, their prices were twice what you would pay at the already expensive strip prices, beer came in quarts, and you had a choice of 1 usually Falstaff. Pero if you had to go there it was your fault for poor planning or maybe it was because of that uninvited guest that showed up empty-handed and thirsty. Either way, that was life for the beer drinking Lubbock crowd.

To be clear, there were bars and clubs within the city limits, but you had to drink it there and again it was not cheap. All this changed in 2009 when Lubbock County finally went wet after half dozen or more tries. Every time they attempted it the Church Belt folks of teetotalers flexed their muscles and defeated the amendment. Someone always rumored though that they had strange allies in the fight, the people that owned the monopoly on the strip. Their selling point was if Lubbock were to go wet, it would lead to public drunkenness and an increase in homeless population. When I moved away from there in 1996, I thought it might never change. But now the strip as I and many generations before and some after knew it, is no more. You now have car lots, tire shops, plumbing and other miscellaneous businesses in the place of Mini Vegas Strip.

I was there two years ago and went straight to Pinkies, this time about a month ago tried again, Pero they were no more. However, all was not lost as they now have a carry out restaurant in Lubbock proper and on my way out a town, I scored a dozen gizzards. And they were still good, but something was missing. The excitement of The Strip RIP. We invite to share your stories of the Lubbock Strip with us, and we will publish as space permits.

3 Responses

  1. You almost gave me a heart attack when you said no more Pinkies. Thank Goodness they still have gizzards in town.

  2. Ahhh, the "line" – as a kid, as soon as the dads geared up to got the line, knew I could throw in my request. A brownie and Big Red, whatever and it was a done deal!! Also, guilty – never visit Lubbock without a stop for an old Lubbock guilty pleasure- Pinkies chicken gizzards!

  3. My dad asked me why I lived on 82nd street when the law school was on 19th street – I told him it was because the strip was at 114th street!

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