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It was a huge building with a corrugated steel roof that housed multiple bars and mechanical bulls. Connected to the club was a small rodeo arena that would also host both bicycle and motorcycle motocross races on Friday and Saturday nights.
Sherwood Cryer was the co-owner of Gilley's; he had many night clubs in Pasadena.
Gilley's ceased operations after a falling-out between Gilley and Cryer. In 1990, a fire, attributed to arson, gutted the interior. The rodeo arena and some livestock stalls were the only structures still standing until 2006, when it was demolished by the Pasadena Independent School District, its current owner. Only the old sound recording studio remains, on Spencer Highway.
On October 2, 2003, Gilley's was reopened at a new location in Dallas-Fort Worth. The new club features a 26,000-square-foot (2,400 m2) main show room and the original mechanical bull, El Toro, featured in the movie Urban Cowboy. In total, the new club has 91,000 square feet (8,500 m2) of restaurant, entertainment, meeting, and private function space.