Bar Beat

Happy Hour Scene: Leons Lounge

The road in front of Leon's Lounge is torn up -- really bad torn up -- and there were only a couple cars parked behind orange safety cones when we walked up, so we thought, 'This is going to be one lame happy hour.'

We walked in and, besides the bartender, there were two other women in the bar. One was old and missing teeth; she had a couple bags of clothes and papers on the bar stool next to her, along with library books on the bar. The other was a 20-something sitting at the corner of the bar alone.

"Are you here to meet Sonya?" the younger woman asked us.

"Excuse me," we said, "I have no idea what you're talking about."

"Oh, I'm sorry, I must have you mistaken with someone else."

After getting our drink, we regretted not knowing Sonya, because for two drinks, happy hour at Leon's Lounge was dull. Bob Seger changed that.

Without anyone touching the jukebox, Seger's angelic voice starting pouring out of the speakers hanging over the bar.

"Uh oh," the bartender said. "Your Bob Seger is back."

"Damn," the older woman said. "Nothing like a good blues song!"

Suddenly, Leon's became a different place. In the span of a couple Bob Seger songs, a man named Art walked in and drank wine, another man in a black cowboy hat and boots came in and ordered a Budweiser, and the man who was supposed to meet Sonya showed up, too.

With happy hour in full gear, we ordered another drink and surveyed the scene. We honestly expected Leon's to be full of bearded guys in hoodies drinking Lone Star beers and playing something really ironic on the jukebox. It wasn't. Leon's might not be everyone's scene, but it's a great place to have a few drinks close to downtown.

Happy Hour runs from 6 to 8 p.m. on weeknights, and Sunday is all-day happy hour and free pool. Well drinks and imported beers are $3. Domestics are $2. Parking is a little tough because of the torn up road.

When the music on the jukebox stopped, the woman with the library books ordered another drink and said it'd be her last. 

"Make it healthy," she told the bartender. "Please make it healthy. The night outside is cold."

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Paul Knight
Contact: Paul Knight