Flames engulfed the famous sports bar Montrose early Friday morning

Griff’s Irish Pub in Houston’s Montrose neighborhood caught fire early Friday, and firefighters had to fight both the flames and strong winds, ABC-13 reported.

“Once in place, they made a valiant attempt to suppress the fire from the inside, but there was too much fire, so we had to take a defensive position for several minutes and put it out from the outside,” the fire chief said. Station HFD 8 reported to ABC-13.

The sports bar has been a Montrose staple since 1965 when it was opened by Michael Griffin. The bar’s website lists it as “the oldest surviving sports bar in Houston”. The age of the building made it difficult for firefighters. The Houston Chronicle reports that officials believe the building will be completely demolished.

One of the bar owners was at the scene this morning and told Stephanie Whitfield of HOW-11 that she was in shock and didn’t know how the fire started.

Griff’s Restaurant was a favorite with Montrose residents who flocked there throughout the week. One of the best nights at the dive bar was the Thursday quiz nights which were always packed. The free nachos served on those nights were not great, but they were free. The hosts, the twins, were always involved in the little things and almost always won. In the middle of the game, the staff handed out free Jell-O shots to the entire bar, and the twins made a toast.

Griff’s was a cozy place with a small, rickety wooden patio in front and a large one in the back. Like any great dive bar, it was proudly adorned with sports merchandise from Texas Tech, neon beer ads, “I love this bar” signs, and more.

The bar was known for its St. Patrick’s Day party, which it says is the oldest in town. On Saturday, January 28, Griff’s hosted the 10th Annual Crayfish and Shrimp Cookout Fundraiser to raise funds for the St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Customers will feel lost: One wrote in a Facebook post by Griff: “Devastated to hear the news when I woke up this morning. My favorite place burned down.”

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