Downtown martini bar wins conditional OK

HARLINGEN — A new downtown lounge moved a step closer yesterday when the Downtown Improvement Board approved a request to locate the bar on Van Buren Street.

Sir’s Martini Lounge is intended as an upscale addition to the historic district, and will be aimed at an older clientele, said Jesus Pena, who made the application.

“It’s more of an upscale lounge, appealing to 30, 40 and older clientele,” Pena said after the meeting. “I’m just trying to revitalize the downtown area, bring in something new, something innovative, something different to Harlingen.”

Locating the martini bar at 309 W. Van Buren between Nini’s Mexican Restaurant and Corsi Guitars still must be approved by the City Commission, but the OK by the downtown board was a required step in the process.

“For the last two years I’ve been there at Classic’s Bar and Grill,” Pena said of the bar at 712 N. 77 Sunshine Strip. “I’ve been in the bar industry for the last 24 years, so I’ve got some experience.”

The downtown board approved a paint scheme for the exterior of the proposed bar, and also concurred on window treatments for the front of the building which would replace the existing glass block windows with regular windows.

But the board raised questions about signage for Sir’s Martini Lounge, and requested that Pena return with a more solid presentation of the size and substance of the proposed signage in order to ensure it meets downtown code.