Established in fall of 1972, Marfreless originally opened on Feagan St. near Shepherd Drive. With nothing more than its name written across the boarded up windows, the business had a less than desirable start but grew steadily through word of mouth and loyal patronage.
The idea for Marfreless began with the owner’s own dissatisfaction with what the bar scene at the time had to offer. His solution: introduce a bar with no theme; there was no television, darts, dance floor, or loud music. Catering to no single demographic resulted in a melting pot of eclecticism. People of all ages, colors, and creeds came together to create a rare mix of bar clientele. Combining a low lit atmosphere and non invasive music, it became a favorite hideaway for non conformists and intellectuals as well as those couples in search of a quiet, cozy spot.
In the early part of 1976 Marfreless found a new home at 2006 Peden where it resides to this day. Twenty seven years later, the bar changed ownership in a virtually unnoticed transition. Only cosmetic alterations were implemented to modernize the bar without compromising its integrity or its founder’s original vision. With a colorful history and sometimes mythological status, Marfreless is regarded by many as an original Houston institution and timeless landmark.
Marfreless was temporarily closed in March of 2013 when it was transitioned to new ownership, the third in its distinguished lifetime. While still in the same location, the new Marfreless would undergo months of interior renovation, re-envisioned with care to preserve the venue’s history. The current iteration of Marfreless opened to the public on January 31st of 2014.