Update: Leon’s Lounge reopened in 2016. Read about the opening here.
Sad news for fans of Leon's Lounge. The city's oldest bar closed Monday. A Twitter user by the name of Tifa Tittlywinks noticed moving trucks outside the Midtown bar Monday evening:
Houston staple and oldest continue at bar in #HTX closes it's doors tonight. @KHOU @Houstorian @LeonsLounge pic.twitter.com/2bGpkaxrmL— Tifa Tittlywinks (@HoboTifa) January 20, 2015
News of the closure began to spread like wildfire after James Glassman, founder of Houstorian — a website dedicated to "telling the story of Houston — tweeted the following picture of the gutted bar as further confirmation:
RIP Houston's Oldest Bar @LeonsLounge pic.twitter.com/pQqApC20IM— Houstorian (@Houstorian) January 20, 2015
Glassman noted the reason for the unexpected closure on Twitter, citing the "landlord didn't make improvements, so Pete [Mitchell] declined to re-up the lease." Pete Mitchell, leasee of Leon's Lounge and owner Under the Volcano (which is still operational in West University), leased the bar from Leon Yarborough's daughter Scarlett in 2010. According to Houstorian, Leon Yarborough purchased the property in 1947, renaming the existing bar from La Bomba to Leon's Lounge. After taking over the historic watering hole, Mitchell closed Leon's Lounge for nearly a year of renovations, reopening with a fresher look, deck addition and an improved roster of cocktails.
Leon's Lounge's absence will be missed by many who enjoyed the laid-back, grown-up alternative to Midtown's growing clubbing scene. Perhaps beer havens Wooster's Garden and Mongoose & Cobra or 13 Celsius, Community Bar, Gage Lounge and recently opened Love & Squalor inside Weights + Measures will help to fill the void.