The Marquis II has reopened under new management, after a passionate response to its closing by fans and the media.
Pour one out for The Marquis II. The beloved bar in West University Place appears to have served its last Texas Tea, at least for now.
A note posted to both the bar's front door and its Facebook page by general manager Al Jara announces that the bar has closed (An eagle-eyed Swamplot reader spotted the note on the door). "Four years of construction has placed a significant financial strain on the establishment," the note reads. "Over the next few days, we will discuss whether it is realistic to continue operating as a business. It is our hope that this will not be the end of our story.
"On behalf of the Marquis II, it has been a pleasure serving Houston for the last 60 years and for being a part of of the great city of West University for the last 30. We hope we will see you all again real soon."
As the note implies, the Marquis II has had a long, colorful history. The bar's website provides more details, tracing its history from the original Marquis in River Oaks to its current home at 2631 Bissonnet St. Even the building has a colorful back story. Prior to its current incarnation, it served as both a doughnut shop and a "gentlemen's establishment known as The Bunny Club."
Throughout its history, the Marquis II has played host to any number of good times, usually centered around its signature Texas Teas. A variation on the classic Long Island Iced Tea cocktail — but served in a massive, 23-ounce glass — the Texas Tea comes in 14 "regular" flavors and six "premium" flavors.
If the end has truly come for the Marquis II, it's only the latest blow for classic Houston bars. Kay's Lounge, the Marquis' down the street neighbor, closed two years ago to make way for a real estate development. More recently, the Harp closed after 20-plus years in business. At the rate things are going, the City of Houston may need to pass an ordinance to protect La Carafe and the West Alabama Ice House.