not dead yet

Not so fast: Beloved West U bar quickly reopens under new ownership

Not so fast: Beloved West U bar quickly reopens under new ownership

Marquis II Lounge
The Marquis II is back. The Marquis II/Facebook

The Texas Tea rides again. The Marquis II, the beloved neighborhood bar in West University Place, has reopened under new ownership. In an emotional note posted to the bar's Facebook page, general manager Al Jara writes that he has purchased the bar and reopened it on Wednesday, December 5.

"I made a promise to my son long ago that daddy wouldn’t always work so much and one day the Marquis II would be his. I intend on keeping that promise," Jara writes. 

"The public outcry has meant the world to me these last few days. I read every text, message, email, and post. I appreciate all who reached out," he continues. "You see, I made a promise to you as well. I promised to do everything to keep the doors open. I also intend to keep that promise."

The new note follows up another note that Jara had posted to both the bar's door and Facebook page announcing it had closed, at least temporarily. Usually, in the bar and restaurant business, "closed temporarily" means "closed forever." The note triggered a wave of press coverage decrying the loss of the bar, which has occupied its location at 2631 Bissonnet St. since 1985. 

Jara tells the Chronicle that street construction has caused the bar to lose over $1 million in revenue since 2014. "They've broken up our parking lot, and we are not getting business because people can't access us," he said.  

Whether new ownership makes the difference in reviving the bar's prospects remains to be seen, but the amount of nostalgia triggered by the prospect of losing the Marquis II forever should spur some former regulars to revisit. And maybe even prompt some newcomers to find out what all the fuss is about. 

To those people, we suggest starting with the Texas Tea. Just don't plan to drive home.

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