Leon's Opening Again Soon

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Photos by Katharine Shilcutt
Leon's by the light of the moon.
Been missing Midtown's favorite dive bar? Don't fret; Leon's will be open once again soon.

The bar has been closed since January, when Scarlett Yarbrough -- daughter of the eponymous Leon Yarbrough -- sold it to Pete Mitchell, who also owns another Houston favorite: Rice Village bar Under The Volcano.

In that time, Mitchell has been working around the clock to bring the old bar up to code, from installing new windows out front to revamping the old electrical work and even installing a hot water heater. "They ran the wrong sort of electricity to the hot water heater, but that was it. They just left it. There was never any hot water. But we have it now!" he chuckled.

But when will Leon pour its first beer again? And what will the updated bar look like inside?

"We're hoping to be open in a month," Mitchell said. "We've changed; it'll be somewhat cleaner."

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Leon's won't look like this anymore once it's reopened.
Cleaner?

Mitchell laughs. "Just to get the smell out was crazy."

Getting the smell out wasn't the only change that Mitchell undertook. Along with his wife, who's originally from Argentina, they've redecorated almost the entire interior of the bar.

"It's going to have an old feel. We're really trying to keep an old feel to it. The same bar, the same bar back, the same chandelier. But different furniture. It's probably going to look like New Orleans," he says, although that wasn't their orignal intention.

"We always wanted it to look like the old French part of Buenos Aires. It's very basic; not very fancy or anything. It's going to have a nice old bar feel."

And as reported by our sister blog, Rocks Off, back in March, Leon's will be spinning vinyl and vinyl only in the renovated space. They won't be taking requests, but Mitchell is working on amassing a great LP collection in anticipation of its opening day. "I'm looking forward to that," Mitchell exclaims. "That's something we've really been wanting to do."

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