The NAT Supper Club
Many of the local Amarilloans know that The NAT was originally an open-air swimming pool, and a few short years after pool was opened it was converted into a dance hall. At the dance hall’s opening night, patrons were treated to a free night of dancing to the music of El Hoover and his orchestra. On succeeding nights each dance cost five cents. Access to the dance floor was by ticket only, the floor being cleared after each dance. Bands who played the nightclub circuit were hired for both limited and extended engagements.
When money became tighter as the crash of 1929 approached, different enticements were employed to attract patrons to the nightspot. New cars furnished by local auto dealers, Navajo blankets, Chinese slippers, hosiery, records, and cash in balloons were given away to boost attendance. The depression era brought many changes to the nation and to The Nat as well. Harry Badger, a well-grounded Amarillo businessperson, became the proprietor of the ballroom. It was at this time that the fortress-like façade was added. In 1955, The Nat Café building, a prime example of whimsical roadway architecture, was attached to the north elevation to provide an entrance to the dance are from Route 66. The Nat became a dine and dance palace after dinner items were introduced to the bill of fare.
If you’ve shopped at The NAT in the last six years, you may have seen these plates for sale in different booths. These plates are the original restaurant plates from the NAT supper club, which would have matched the art deco walls that adorned the upstairs walls.
Our Vintage NAT Supper Club Plates are for sale! If you love The NAT as much as we do, stop by and take a piece of Amarillo history home with you!