A hangover from the Prohibition days, Tradewinds Lounge, operated by the Gaido family, was one of few shops that operated as "speakeasies". Opening in 1951, and in accordance with the Texas law, each member had a private liquor locker at the club stocked with their favorite spirits and could mix… their favorite cocktails. The first expansion relocated the Club to its present location. An article in a fall issue of Reader’s Digest caricaturizing politicians as "pelicans" gave Mike Gaido Sr. the idea to change the name to the Pelican Club. In 1959 Texas changed the law again, doing away with the "locker" system, and allowed restaurants to sell memberships to a private club. In 1972, the laws loosened further allowing restaurants to publicly sell liquor by the glass. Pelican Club members stayed loyal, appreciating the personal service, ability to avoid waiting for a table, and Gaido's food in a private club environment.
Today, the promise of the Pelican Club remains the same.Continued