The Briar Club has a rich history as a Houston mainstay for those looking for a place for their families to call their "home away from home".
1949 - The Briar Club Begins
In The Briar Club's early days, the Santamaria family ran the club as The Coral Club, with Uncle Vince at the helm and Grandma Fannie Santamaria cooking for the Members, especially her famous raviolis. Without major facilities like a pool and tennis courts, a motivated group of Coral Club members self-named "the baker's dozen" created a charter with Mr. Santamaria to form The Briar Club, a glowing vision of recreation and sports for their families within a steadily growing campus.
1950's - A Neighborhood of Members Form
During the 1950's, The Briar Club as we now know it truly began to take shape. The first pool was built. An initial code of conduct was established. Monthly dues were instituted, as well as a check system for the purchase of food and beverages. Furniture for the cocktail lounge was purchased from Suniland Furniture. In 1956, Al Chivers was hired as manager, remaining in that position for over twenty-five years.
1960's - The Briar Club Expands with Houston
In the 1960's, Houston was the first word uttered on the moon, and the Astrodome became a "wonder of the world". This decade was a period of rapid growth for Houston and the areas surrounding The Briar Club, and as Houston expanded, the Club grew in size and function to match. In 1965, Timmons Road was paved, offering a welcome less-bumpy entrance and exit into the Club.
1970's - The Briar Club's "Happy Hour"
With Houston's economic boom in the 1970's, the city became synonymous with glitter and glamorousness. On September 20, 1973, Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs at the Houston Astrodome. A passion for tennis raged across the country, and also on the Briar Club courts. The days at the Club were dedicated to creating memories and carrying on traditions.
1980's - A Time of Renovation
The 1980's were a time for major renovations at The Briar Club, leading to a better club experience for all. Along with a new kitchen, a two-story Fitness Center, three new tennis courts and a casual dining area, the Club acquired another amenity -- its first computer.
1990's-2000's - Family Fun Grows
Two decades of family fun flew by at the Club, with the same beloved traditions being updated as the times and trends changed. Membership continued to grow, and as renovations continued to be completed, many Briar Club Members began to see a new vision for their Club, just as the "baker's dozen" did in 1949. From this vision, and many hours of hard work from the Board of Directors and Committees, The Briar Club Master Plan Project was born.