Jimmy's Ice House closes after 75 years in the Heights

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Saturday, July 1, 2017
Popular Heights bar closes after 75 years
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An iconic Heights watering hole is closing down after 75 years.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Walking into Jimmy's Ice House, you get a feeling like the bar might be the last of its kind. It's closing after 75 years in business.

"It's a beer joint. Nobody knows what a beer joint is no more," said bar regular Dido Gonzalez. "They aren't there no more. A beer joint is where you can walk in not knowing nobody and you walk out knowing four or five people."

Jimmie Murray opened the place in 1942 as a grocery store that also sold ice. A few years later, Jimmie started selling beer, but he still opened at 7 a.m. The establishment became a popular spot for graveyard shift workers.

"Back in those days, the rest of the Heights was dry and this was pretty much the only place in town," said bar regular Pete Little. "People were billionaires, there were rocket scientists from NASA, they all came in here and everybody was the same here at Jimmy's Ice House."

Anna Murray Johnson is Jimmie's granddaughter and perhaps the youngest person to ever sit at the bar counter.

"When I was born, they brought me home from the hospital. Before they could take me home, they had to bring me here," she said. "I've been here literally since the day I was born."

The Murray family sold the bar in 2003. The new owners plan to keep the building and remodel it and start selling liquor.

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