The former operators of Marfreless — the oh-so-dark bar that hid behind the unmarked blue door under the stairs in back of the River Oaks Shopping Center for more than a decade until shutting down in the middle of last year — filed a lawsuit earlier this month against the group that later renovated the space and opened a bar of the same name inside it in January of this year. In essence, the suit claims that the bar’s current operators are imposters, and are using the Marfreless name in its former leased location — and claiming to have reopened it — without permission. “Marfreless was temporarily closed in March of 2013, when it transitioned to new ownership, the third in its distinguished lifetime,” reads the new Marfreless website, created by the bar’s current operators. But the lawsuit claims that isn’t true. “Despite these representations by Defendant,” reads a filing by Marfreless Ventures, LP, “no such ownership transition has ever taken place.”
According to the filing, Marfreless Ventures bought the bar from its original owners in 2002; it had been operating at the 2006 Peden St. spot since 1976. The petition claims Marfreless Ventures “intended . . . to reopen in a new location in the near future” after it vacated the 2006 Peden address. But it doesn’t state clearly whether the company still has plans to do so. The current operators of the bar they’re calling Marfreless at 2006 Peden St., identified in the lawsuit as Asylum Entertainment, LLC, have not yet submitted a response to the lawsuit, according to the County Clerk’s website.
- Marfreless History [Marfreless Houston]
- Lawsuit Claims “New” Marfreless Is a Fake [Houstonia]
- Previously on Swamplot: What’s Been Happening at Marfreless, and When It’ll Reopen; The Return of Marfreless; Weingarten Responds: Hey, It’s Not Us, It’s Marfreless; The End Coming for Marfreless in River Oaks