Thursday, March 21, 2013

Marfreless closing announcement brings wailing and gnashing of teeth.

I know, I know, I was on hiatus.  But the announcement that Houston's "make out" bar Marfreless was closing, and the response to it, made me want to bring up one quick point.

Marfreless bar announces it will be closing.

Just months after celebrating its 40th anniversary, Marfreless, the infamous lounge of love, is closing its doors.
The bar ownership cites the excessive cost of doing business in the River Oaks Shopping Center as the reason for the closure

Predictably, this has brought out the "Houston is dying" crowd in droves.  From the comments:

TallTxn99: Thank goodness there wasn't FB or Youtube back when I used to go there.... What happened at Marfreless, stayed at Marfreless.... lol
Gimpypimp: Back when me and my wife were dating, we used go there at least a dozen times a month. I didn't even know the name of the place at first. We just called it the Blue Door. We're going to have to hit it one more time for old times sake and say farewell to one of the most romantic spots in town.
Houstonbeachgirl: When I was a bit younger in the 70's I discovered this cool bar with a blue door and no name. It's like entering a mysterious cave of unknown. Once you go in and see the super cool bar you instantly feel comfortable. I too may have to pay them a visit soon. Great Manhattans!Thanks for the memories!!!!
TEXUS: Used to go there a lot in the late 70's and early 80's. A nice place for a nightcap after a show where the music wasn't blaring and you could actually carry on a conversation. I think this is where the phrase, "Get a room you two!" originated.
Now, I've only been to the place once, back in the mid-90's.  As such I'm rather ambivalent about the place closing down.  What I find funny is that many people who "used" to "frequent" the place in the 70's and 80's, but presumably haven't been back since, are now leading the chorus of "Nooooooo!" that's fluttering around Houston's Internets.

That's Houston in a nutshell though.  We screamed about AstroWorld closing and then admitted that we hadn't really gone there in 20 years.  We declared the closing of Feast to be a sure sign Houston was not a world-class city even though we only ate their once and round the sight of pig testicles and penis to be....unsettling.  We griped about SRO closing but really we had moved on to Mongoose vs. Cobra or Anvil long ago.

All of these establishments have become places for others to go, not us.  And we can't believe it when the next wave of revelers decides that the haunts we've long abandoned are not worthy of their time.  Nevermind that we're not frequenting these places, it's the other groups that aren't that reveal a tear in Houston's cultural crazy-quilt.  We had families and children and understand right?

The second whinge is directed at Weingarten, that evil, faceless company who's looking at higher property values, ever-increasing property taxes and the very real prospects of lowered profit if they don't raise rents. Because they're trying to keep the bottom line healthy and keep their employees in paychecks, their investors in the black and their tenants in properly maintained buildings their held up as someone who's tearing at the face of Houston's world-classiness.

Perhaps if more people visited Marfreless than waxed poetic about it the owners could afford to accept the increased rents like the rest of the tenants? 

Just a thought.

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