RIP Marfreless: Requiem For Houston's Favorite Make-Out Bar


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Known by the blue door that became the only outdoor sign Marfreless ever needed, and frequently mentioned in "Hidden Houston"-type articles, the 40-year-old bar has long been a popular spot for clandestine assignations; as a friend put it, a good "mistress bar." (The couches...) It was awarded "Best Cheap Thrill" in the Houston Press' 2004 Best of Houston issue, with good reason:

"I think I've made out with two chicks here," a patron says, adding, "not on the same night, though." When it comes to Marfreless, he's certainly not alone. This West Gray-area nightspot is so secretive, only a stenciled black street number marks the door. You can hardly blame the prurient for assuming it's a swingers bar. And while the prurient are wrong (as they so often are), it's only by a matter of degree.

Marfreless is a grown-up version of the seventh-grade broom closet: a makeout bar. Downstairs you'll find attentive service, soft candles, dark wood. Upstairs -- well, let's just say you don't go there for the food. Two rooms and a fleet of sofas offer varying levels of intimacy perfect for necking and nibbling.

If you can manage to coax your date up the stairs, you're probably well on your way. The drinks aren't cheap; there are plenty of $7 martinis and $9 glasses of wine. But when you think about what you're really getting, Marfreless might be the best deal in town

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More recently, when Houston hosted the 2011 NCAA Men's Final Four, Marfreless prompted this memorable anecdote that our news blog Hair Balls awarded "Comment of the Day," after we recommended visitors try this place over Hotel ZaZa for upscale nightlife.

Last time I was at Marfreless I walked in on someone getting a beej in the upstairs back room.

So long, Marfreless. Houston will be a less shady place when you're gone, and we're all poorer for it.





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Marfreless

2006 Peden, Houston, TX

Category: Music

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32 comments
Craigley
Craigley

This place was out of style in 1994 hence the MMFbi skank in the pic.

Ted Dimitry
Ted Dimitry

I don't have a hook-up story from Marfreless, but I (sort of) remember drinking there with the bar tender from Birra Poretti's (when it was across the street) and a buddy of mine in town from VA - all well past legal hours while being under-aged... nearly 20 years ago (it was mid-February 1993).

Renee Smith Granberry
Renee Smith Granberry

Good memory from the late 80's - had a great make out session there with my boyfriend - who is now my husband of 22 years!!!

Melia Hughes
Melia Hughes

I have over 20 years of memories there. Very sad to see it go. They say they're going to reopen elsewhere, but it'll never be Marfreless elsewhere.

Don Price
Don Price

Getting thrown out for having a pillow fight after a Siouxie and the Banshees concert.

Ivy Kaminsky
Ivy Kaminsky

it was pretentious and obnoxious so don't ask me

Christy Etter
Christy Etter

Makes me so sad. The make-out hang-out. What a cool place this was.

Tina Manno
Tina Manno

It was definitely before its time. Wine Bars do not compare to the ambience that Marfreless had in their prime!

Stephanie Owens
Stephanie Owens

I went way back in the day probably late 90's and my friends and I went into a dark room where there were couches and like a red lamp. All I remember was that we though we heard someone smacking food...lit our lighters and saw an older man in the corner jerkin off...yep...he really was...we left the room and decided that an area where we could sorta see each others faces was much better. LOL

Stevan Ilan Trujillo
Stevan Ilan Trujillo

Heard about this place but unfortunately missed out. Wish there were more spots like this one! ok who wants to make out this weekend!!! ;)

Natalie Broussard
Natalie Broussard

It's been a hidden jewel for years. So sad. Hard to find spots like this. *tear*

Alan Hernandez
Alan Hernandez

it's been years but i have great memories of the place, just cant talk about them in detail. haha

Daniel Eaton Jr
Daniel Eaton Jr

Hadn't heard of it till now. Maybe it was before my time?

Sonia Taylor
Sonia Taylor

Lots of fond memories, none of them publishable. Sad to hear it go!

Kyle King
Kyle King

I have made out on a sofa upstairs...back before the remodel...in the early 80s...

Rory Ashton
Rory Ashton

motherfucker. that place was legit. hope they re-open somewhere else.

KING
KING

Dibs on the couches.

kplo
kplo moderator communitymanager

@KING Gross.

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