Leon's Lounge Reopens

Houston's oldest bar plans to reopen with emphasis on classic cocktails and lounge atmosphere

Houston's oldest bar reopens with emphasis on classic cocktails

Leon's Lounge sign
Leon's Lounge has a new operator.  Photo by Eric Sandler

Houston's oldest bar will live on. Leon's Lounge, which has been serving patrons since at least 1947, has a new operator.

Owner Scarlett Yarborough has reached an agreement with Davenport Lounge owner Duane Bradley and his business partner Jim DeFoyd on taking over the space, the Chronicle reports.

Leon's, which the Houstorian's resident expert James Glassman has doumented as the city's oldest barclosed in January when Pete Mitchell, the previous operator, opted not to renew his lease on the space. Concern spread that the bar's future was in doubt, but Yarborough vowed that the business, which she inherited from her father, would reopen.

Bradley's plans for the space consist of emphasizing the "lounge" aspect of the name by serving well-executed, classic cocktails. With only some minor renovations on tap, Bradley hopes to reopen September 1. 

Whenever Leon's reopens, it will find that Midtown has changed quite a bit since January. New openings including Weights + Measures, Oporto Fooding House & Wine, Fluff Bake Bar, Spare Key and Izakaya are all offering Houstonians an alternative to Midtown's traditional party scene.

Of course, that party scene is still thriving. Just ask the folks lining up for bottle service at Clé every weekend. 

Hopefully, Leon's will remain a destination for both groups; somewhere where memories, including proposals, can continue for another generation of Houstonians.