HARLINGEN — If you walk into Sir’s looking for a martini, you will find it. But if you are also looking for furniture, you will find that as well.
This martini lounge bar in Harlingen, located on 309 W Van Buren Ave., is more than meets the eye.
In one corner, you will find a bright blue couch, a walk and don’t walk street sign on the other side, a nutcracker and some buddhas. Everything is in the same place and it somehow works.
The bar is owned by Jesse Pena, but the decor is done by his two sisters Sonia Pinon and Carmina Pena-Mojdehi.
Both said their brother had been looking into creating a bar and without thinking they stepped in as decorators, though they have no official experience as one.
“We helped our brother with every step of the way. Everything you see here is from our homes but we also go to a few estate sales and antique stores,” Pena-Mojdehi said.
In their “Mexican” corner the duo added a few saints and Jesus sculptures. They said they were not sure of adding them in the beginning because it is a bar but clients always want to take photos in that section.
“They say they feel at peace,” Pinon said.
“We have had people come over and ask us if we can help at their establishments but I never have time,” she said.
Pinon and Pena-Mojdehi said they wanted a different look from most bars in the Rio Grande Valley area. They also said there was opposition to their ideas from a few people who said their concept would not work in Harlingen.
“We came from nothing, we were dirt poor. We lived on Monroe growing up and came from Matamoros,” Pena-Mojdehi said.
Their family lived close by to where Sir’s is located which Pena-Mojdehi said they have always loved the area. The bar opened in November of 2019 but closed for COVID-19.
“We used that time to make it even better. We added the fireplace and extended the patio,” they said.
Their inspiration comes and goes but the pair said they are constantly switching the furniture around. Every time they step into Sir’s they look for ways to change their set up so it stays new and fresh.
“Between the two of us we had a ton of furniture,” they said.
Their idea of adding a nutcracker to an area created their British set up. They even brought some columns from Pinon’s house which are now next to the bottles in the bar.
“Every four months we change the furniture but six months we really change things,” they both said.
Because of the popularity of the bar, they have already thought about expanding or adding another location. But, the originality of their decor is not what is most interesting about this bar. Every furniture piece inside is for sale. Something their clients often do not know and every piece has a story as well. Their walk and don’t walk sign was found by Pinon’s son in law in the middle of the street and he fixed it for her.
“He knows I’m a hoarder,” Pinon said.
They have a sign which reads “Austin St.” which covers most of a wall inside the bar. The sisters said a man was walking by and offered for them to take a look at his furniture.
“He just had it at his house,” Pena-Mojdehi said.
Not only is the decor done with their own furniture but also with art pieces from local artists. There are several from past downtown director Ed Meza.
“We get calls at midnight asking how much a bench is and we say no refunds,” they said laughing.
“I think the piece that sold the most was a statue for $650. People are starting to know now everything is for sale,” Pena-Mojdehi said.
The visual merchandising these sisters have been able to collaborate in stems from their strong relationship.
“I ask her sometimes what she is wearing because we are wearing the same dress or same color, it is like we are twins,” Pena-Mojdehi said.
“We enjoy it and we love it, we love working with my brother. Before the year is done, there will be another Sir’s,” Pinon said.