• September 18, 2019

Downtown Odessa tavern a possibility - Odessa American: Business

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Downtown Odessa tavern a possibility

City of Odessa receives only one bid on property from OHS alumn, former NFL player Bradley Marquez and his partners

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  • Downtown Sports Tavern?

    With the building being located right around the corner from the new Marriott hotel, the City of Odessa has been looking for ways to bring more people into historic downtown Odessa.

Posted: Friday, September 13, 2019 4:39 pm

Three business partners pitched the idea for a sports-centric tavern on Grant Avenue to Odessa City Council this week to support revitalization attempts in Downtown Odessa.

Council members showed hesitation with the low bid proposal price and limited business experience of the potential operations manager, but not the concept.

The unoccupied space at 418 N. Grant Ave. near the Grant Street Bar & Grill was purchased by the city in 2017 for $110,000. The City of Odessa has invested a total of about $150,000 into the 3,500-square-foot property, which has a current assessed value of $101,500.

Assistant City Manager Phillip Urrutia said public advertisements were made about the sale of the property and more than 40 vendors received the bid packet, but the city only received one proposal since bids opened on Aug. 27.

Urrutia said this was the third time this property has gone out for bid.

At-Large Council Member Peggy Dean said the lack of interest tells her that many people are still waiting to see more pieces in downtown fall into place before choosing to invest in the area.

The lone bid received was from Patrick Rodriguez, David Rodriguez and Bradley Marquez for $20,000.

Odessa High alumnus Marquez is a multi-sport athlete. He played in the NFL for the Detroit Lions and Los Angeles Rams, and he is also a minor league baseball player.

Patrick Rodriguez and David Rodriguez are brothers who work together at a local oil and energy company.

The trio envisions the space as the future home of Icon Tavern complete with an outdoor patio, a stage for stand-up comedy shows and performances, a full-scale bar on each of the two levels of the building, food options for patrons and TVs aligning the brick walls.

Patrick Rodriguez said the atmosphere would read sports lounge rather than sports bar.

“The reason for the name is just to pay homage to some of the most iconic moments in sports,” he said.

He told council members that project cost estimates total up to $450,000 for construction on the site and up to $150,000 on furnishings.

District 1 City Council Member Malcolm Hamilton voiced his approval of the tavern and the financial investment the men were willing to make to transform the building.

David Rodriguez said they would seek to open around October of next year if sold the property.

He said Marquez was essential to the downtown tavern and would be somewhat of a face for the business.

“My only concern is I just want us to be sure that if we’re selling this property so inexpensively that we’ve got a representative business of what we want downtown to be,” Dean said following the presentation.

Dean worried selling the property at a low cost would set a bad precedent.

“I personally think the precedent has already been made,” Hamilton said. “In the past, we’ve given away property and with these guys putting in half a million dollars, plus the foot traffic that they’ll more than likely have, I think it’s an awesome project. They’re going to get a lot of spillover from (the Marriott Hotel & Conference Center) being open.”

Minutes from an earlier council work session this month state District 2 City Council Member Dewey Bryant said steps must be taken to attract people to downtown.

Dean said she would like to see a safeguard put in place in case the business was unsuccessful.

City Manager Michael Marrero said one option would be to proceed with a similar agreement made with Torchy’s Tacos. He said a Chapter 380 agreement can place requirements on the business such as maintaining a certain number of permanent positions, minimum financial investments and minimum years of operation.

“I’d feel a lot better if we did something like that,” Dean said.

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