The Marquis II Calls It Quits

A flyer posted on the Marquis II at 2631 Bissonnet yesterday announces that the place is now closed indefinitely, leaving West University almost entirely devoid of bars (except for the one inside the Whole Foods on Bellaire Blvd.). The Marquis II’s predecessor, the Marquis, opened in the then-fledgling River Oaks Shopping Center in 1945. After the bar’s original owner died in the late 1960s, a pair of cocktail waitresses bought it and decamped to Bissonnet and Buffalo Spdwy., where the suffix became part of the venue’s name.

Following a stint at Bissonnet and Weslayan, the bar wound up in its current spot near Kirby in 1985. Houston architect Lars Bang had originally designed the building to house a branch of California donut chain The Big Donut, which it did until the 1970s when a gentleman’s lounge dubbed The Bunny Club blacked out the windows and took over. It left after a fire in the early ’80s, but not entirely: During the Marquis II’s last major remodel in 2011, workers uncovered a painting of a women wearing a low-cut outfit with a bushy tail that had been hiding behind one of the building’s walls, an unmistakable relic of the shuttered strip club. “Although badly charred,” according to the bar’s website, “the painting underwent a little restoration and still hangs proudly on our wall.

Photos: Marquis II

Last Last Call

7 Comment

  • Never been, but that place always looked like the closest bar to Cheers in the city. I don’t understand why Bissonnet is taking FOREVER to finish. That construction job has been a mess.

  • “Hey, look, Mister, we serve hard drinks in here for men who want to get drunk fast.”

  • “…And we don’t need any characters around to give the joint atmosphere.”

  • Teasdays will get you TWISTED. BAD.

  • am I naive to ask if there is no recourse to endless construction running in front of your business? What if Gov’t were to tear up a road and abandon project/run out of money??

  • I was born in the 50s and in my admittedly vague memory, this structure seems to have been around as long as I have. Mostly as a strip club, I guess. Old-fashioned tacky, but with a nostalgic aspect. Driving by the building always reminds me of the past.

    Another place like that is just down the street at Kirby and Bissonet. If memory serves, it’s now a location of Houston Shoe Hospital and formerly was O’Bannon’s Laundry & Cleaners. That building still has the very retro triangular roof over the former drive-through. Much like the old gas stations of that era (were they Phillips 66 or Conoco?).

    Anyway, it’s fun that some of these structures from another era are still around. I noticed that one that recently bit the dust was the tire store on Westheimer just east of Westlayan.

  • Spent many a night here post sorority meeting. Fond memories.