Clutch City Squire is calling it quits. Steve Hannigan, owner of the downtown bar confirmed month long rumors of the hipster dive's demise, announcing a closing date of Saturday, February 7:
Concerns of Clutch City Squire's future were raised last month among loyal customers and industry insiders when plywood walls were erected outside the neighborhood watering hole, but calls to management assured the bar was still open for business and wasn't closing, despite months of dwindling crowds. Rumors were further fueled when word began to spread that Hannigan sold Clutch City Squire and a new bar would take its place, but management declined to confirm those rumors until now.
Hannigan, a veteran bartender of Catbirds, along with partner Jenna Gleespen opened Clutch City Squire in the spring of 2013. It was one of the pioneering bars — months before Goro and Gun, Bad News Bar and Batanga hit the scene — that have made the 400 block of Main in the Historic District hip again. A year later, Hannigan subleased the adjoining upstairs space to husband and wife bartending team Robby and Chieko Cook. The duo opened Barringer Bar & Lounge, closing six months later after allegedly being locked out by Hannigan.
While Hannigan prepares for Clutch City Squire's last hurrah this weekend, Carson Hager of Viking Ventures LLC is planning to take over the 410 Main space as the new leasee. Hager's rumored plans includes an upscale bar named The Commoner.
Despite Goro & Gun's closing last year, Clutch City Squire's impending shutter and what appears to be an oversaturated bar scene in the Main/Market Square corridor, this isn't the start of a domino effect, thankfully. Hughes Hanger co-owner recently opened Henke & Pillot next to La Carafe and even more bars are on the way. Joining rumored The Commoner are Barringer Bar & Lounge (rumored to reopen three blocks away from its former location), Bovine & Barley, Houston Watch Company and a nightlife spot from the owners of Midtown's newest beer garden Wooster's Garden.