According to a recording on its voicemail, Washington Avenue sports bar Sawyer Park has closed. The recording states "We are now closed. From all of us at Sawyer Park, we would like to thank you for your patronage for four, fun years." The Houston Press's Rocks Off blog also reports that there's a sign out front announcing the closure and thanking patrons. One Eater tipster was not surprised by the news; he had noticed it had started to close early on weekends.
Although the bar had been popular at one time, twitter personality kylejack noted Sawyer Park had a troubled legacy. In 2011, an exploding beer bottle blinded one of the employees. It also made news when a shooting took place near there. A Houston Press feature story documented the way Sawyer Park and other bars on Washington use doormen and dress codes to restrict minorities.
While it's tempting to see this news and Pearl Bar's struggles as an indication that Washington Avenue is dying, the reality is that it simply appears to be evolving. In addition to Liberty Station, which remains a popular spot for food trucks, craft beer and cocktails, the number of restaurants on the street continues to expand. Near Sawyer Park, Alba Huerta and the Anvil team have begun work on cocktail bar Julep. Hollister Grill is still on track to replace Cova next to Coppa, and there are rumors that the former Convivio space may have a new tenant.
· Sawyer Park [Official]
· 19-Year-Old Who Says Bottle Blast Blinded Him Sues Bar [Houston Chronicle]
· Man Shot Near Popular Washington Avenue Sports Bar [KHOU]
· Washington Avenue Sports Bar Sawyer Park Closes Its Doors After Four Years [Rocks Off]
· Getting Past the Bouncer [Houston Press]
· All Washington Corridor Coverage on Eater Houston [-EHOU-]