Monday, July 24, 2006

R.I.P. Sports Bar

Today is a sad day for me. Everyone has that place where they can go and just feel like you can be yourself. That place for me was the Sports Bar. Last night it closed for good. I will leave it to David to discuss his reasons. I just want to talk about why I liked it, and David so much.

I have said this before, but I can come up with no other analogy, so I'm afraid I will have to use it again. The Sports Bar was like my own little Cheers bar. It was a place that I could go and have a drink, play some pool and joke around with everyone there. It was definitely a place where everyone knew my name and they were always glad I came (usually).

Before the Sports Bar opened I didn't know David Lee very well. We knew of each other and would email and say we should get together, but for some reason or another it never came to pass. We finally met briefly at the old Bar Phoenix. Then David opened the first Sports Bar on Sanchez street in the Colonial Zone, and I thought I had found a new home. When it moved to its present location, I would go in regularly and David and I would talk about our difficulties, hopes and dreams. More often than not, we would talk about the drama going on with this or that. We formed a bond and became a support system for each other. As many early readers of the blog know, I was an early supporter of the Sports Bar.

I don't know what I will do now that the Sports Bar is no longer open. I will miss it. That's true. I know personally that David has thought long and hard about his decision, and respect him for that. This past weekend was bittersweet for David. He celebrated his birthday on Saturday night, and closed his business for good Sunday night. Such is life.

Here are some photos of the birthday party on Saturday. I was was working with David and didn't get the chance to take many photos. The photo of David smiling is how I always like to see him.

On a personal note, I just want to say thank you to David for all the memories and good times I had at the Sports Bar. But most importantly, I want to thank him for being a good friend to me. I love you and anything I can for you, you know that I'm here.

Rest in peace, Sports Bar.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear David, I'm deeply sad about the closing of the Sports Bar. I've enjoyed many wonderful times there. I'll remember your place the way we remember the Penthouse and the OLD Bar Freddy's and the Red Zone and Disco Free. I will remember. God Bless you.

Mario Sessions said...

Hey David I just read the blog like I do every morning, and i'm very sorry to hear that you had to close such a good place for me and many other Americans to party. I will miss The Sports Bar in many ways. As you know I tried to help out as much as I could by having many events at The Sports Bar. I know me alone could not pay the everlasting bills that you had to pay monthly. I only could help out as much as I could by promoting, and giving as many events that I counld at the Sports Bar.

I will not look back to see where we as a family went wrong. I know We all have to give full support I know some did not and I hope this is a wake up call to the non supporters.

I will say this as water pour from my eyes, The Sports Bar will be truly missed by me for I have history there, Good fellowship and New friends. It was one of the main reason why I kept coming back to Santo Domingo after Anthony closed his guest house.

David, thank you for giving me the opportunity to experience such a home away from home and for letting me have my 41st Birthday party and other events when no one would give me a chance to do so. Now i'm in shock with no place to call home when i'm in Santo Domingo, but I will not give up, I will never give up! As one door closes another one will open. Again, thanks for the wonderful times at the Sports Bar there will not be another bar like yours. I will see you in 4 weeks.


Love always
Mario Sessions

Anonymous said...

David
Got up this morning to this very sad day! But understaning!
We will miss the sports bar! thank you for giving us a place to go and spend eveings at. Thanks for being a new friend, we enjoyed going by and spend time in the Sports Bar! meeting new friends from different part of the us or world. thanks for the good food and letting us celebarate with the guys in DR. David your a very caring person, and we will see you again soon.Ludwig,Jim,AL, & Bill in Houston.

Anonymous said...

David, I am very sorry to hear about your bar closing. I had great times there and wish you the best.

the Allen gallery said...

Wow! The end of an era.

David, we wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavors. You and the Sports Bar made an indelible imprint on nightlife in SD.

Good luck to you and,

THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES!!

c and j

Vicki Harris said...

hI can't belive it's over when David said to me over a year ago Miz Vicki lets open a bar I said count me in. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Saying yes turned out to be one of the best times of my life thank you all for your support. One of the best things that came out of owning The Sports Bar was my new extened family I have all of these new play brothers. It was so nice to look up and see your smiling faces and boy did we have fun I will miss you all. If you guys are ever in the DR please look me and David up. There is always peach cobble and fried chicken on the stove. I want to say a special thanks to Anthony for keeping David close to you when I was not there he think's the world of you. Thanks For The Memories!!!
Miz Vicki
Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

Anonymous said...

I am quite upset and sorry to hear that David's place is closing. It was a down to earth place with a relaxing atmosphere. David's place was as close as a foreign visitor could get to enjoy a colmado atmosphere.

David, best wishes on your future endeavors.

Dave from SF.

David Lee said...

Thank you Anthony and everyone for your kind words.

John K said...

To echo C. (Allen Gallery) and others, this is very saddening news. I appreciate Anthony's beautiful remarks, and also David, thank you for your post on the Sports Bar blog.

Here's my post on it:
http://jstheater.blogspot.com/2006/07/sports-bar-sdq-closes-more-coming.html

David, as I say in my post, C and I wish you the very best for the future, and look forward to seeing you when we're down there again.

Anonymous said...

David, The Sports Bar will be very much missed by many of us who enjoyed being there on our visits. All the good times and wonderful memories will forever be with us. YOU ARE A LEGEND BOO!!!! And I cant wait to see you again on my return to the DR and Yes Ms. Vickie have the Fried Chicken ready. LOVE YOU ALL!!
Mike from Memphis

Anonymous said...

I just got back from Orlando and logged on to read this sad news about the Sports Bar closing! Damn! And what are we supposed to do now? Go to that other place which is so frequently criticized here and kill time before moving on move to JDs or Arena? David, we will miss you dearly.
From Puerto Rico,
Rafael

Anonymous said...

Mario Sessions maybe you'll stay out of the D.R. now. Wishfull thinking.

Mario Sessions said...

LOL anonymous you just love my name im loving it.

Anonymous said...

Hello David,
What more can be said , but very sad new's indeed to hear the Sports Bar is closed, just blew me away this morning. All day I have thought of you , the fun we had there, the great people I met there and the frineds I have made along my journey in Santo Domingo. Am in hopes that some thing shall happen in a positive way and the bar shall reopen under your devoted direction once again real soon, at least we can hope....I look forward to seeing you on my next trip David and sharing some good conversation and laughs, god bless you and your just a super good kind man, wish you only the best... Jim From Houston

Anonymous said...

david,

first day back at work after 3 great weeks in the DR; only to learn that my first stop of the evening in santo domingo is now closed! oh please, say it ain't so!

trust me, i spent as many pesos there as i possibly could!

my favorite place to sit was along the left side of the hall as you enter, right in front of the new smoking area. there were two regular chairs there, loved to turn one around, prop my chin on the back of the chair and watch the pool balls fly.

the dominican guys were always clearly happy to be in a safe spot - i enjoyed watching the intensity of their pool playing, the spontaneous dancing and singing, and the constant surprises everytime the door swung open!

it was such a great place that most of my fellow americans actually felt compelled to act appropriately and treat everyone with respect, at least while they were in the sports bar....

happy trails senor david, may god be with you until we meet again.

tim helm
washington dc

Nena said...

David and friends!
As I had plans to visit SDQ, I am so overwhelmed to hear the bad news.......!I had no clue.
I'm so sorry to have gotten that email from David but I am confident, as always, he will succeed in more ways than UNO with his new endeavors.
I am over overwhelmed by the email that I will just say.....

siempre con carino y su familia
Nena~

Anonymous said...

I just plain dont know what to say. I am a total loss for words. I trust your personal decision. It still hurts. Stay around and who knows what might come around in the future.

Anonymous said...

I don't quite understand all the drama about the closing of a bar. From what I understand new business only have a slim chance to make it pass the first 2 or 3 years. This closing should have been expected. From what I have read David is a very smart and resourceful man. I'm sure that after he goes through the shock and hurt of the closing of the bar; he'll brush himself off stand up on his feet and get right back in the race. We as African Americans have the intuitive ability to know when to hold them, know when to fold them and to know when to just walk away. I know that it was a painful decision to make with wondering who would really be sad and who has been waiting for this to happen all along. I speak from experience. When it happen to me I didn't want people asking be a lot of questions or greeting me with a sad face. What I needed for people to say is I respect your decision and that I'll be here to help you with what ever you decide to do. What I'm suggesting is that we give David a little time to morn his lost and then encourage him to get off his ass and make it happen bigger and better.

Anonymous said...

Now the boyz will have to go back to that hole in the wall and really do the hustle. I wonder if mz.thing will allow them just to hang out without spending 70 pesos for a bag of chips

Anonymous said...

To the above comment, I agree with you. Your comment is brilliant.

Anonymous said...

Well, let's look at this situation on the bright side. At least now we can meet all the buggies at one place and not pay for cabs to get to the other night spot before deciding who to take home.

Anonymous said...

Dear David,
Peter, Andrés, Mercedes, Julio L., Héctor, Iván, Miguel, Julio E., Willie, José, Papo, Rubén, myself, and the rest of the Puerto Rican crowd will miss spending time with you at the Sports Bar. Best of luck in your next venture!
From Puerto Rico,
Rafael

Anonymous said...

sorry to hear that
but good luck in as always
jerry

Anonymous said...

David:

It's my reason for coming to DR. It's my and many others' first stop for a cocktail when in town and soarely missed is an understatement. You ran a tip-top operation that made sad to leave and overjoyed to come back. I will miss the bar and the crowds but most of all I and others will miss you, your warmth, graciousness and kindness. Well, at least I could to lay some of th pound cake on you before it all went down. I have plans to return in the coming months and I am confident that it aint gonna be the same. I am pleased to have made your acquaintance and had the true pleasure of frequenting your establishment. Be ye not worried, for God watches over thee. - Daryl
Dario" Johnson.

Greg said...

David I am sorry to see your Sports Bar close.It had a bit of charm and class that many other places lacked.It stood as a beacon for any travelers or locals that needed a friend or good advice.Many of the people that came there found acceptance and a place to fit in.The conversation was always real and very sincere.
I hope you don't feel for a single moment that you failed.Rather that you showed the world that it is possible for one person, with the help of a few friends. To make a positive different in the lives of others.It's to bad these values have little cash value in this world. However, in terms of facing your self in mirror on a daily basis, it makes you one "hot mother" Keep your head up and be proud! Love always

David Lee said...

Thank you all for your wonderful comments. I've always tried to treat people like I wanted to be treated. When you came into the Sports Bar, it was truly like coming home. I'll miss the bar, but I won't miss being tied down to it. I've already started to come out of my shell of mourning. I'm excited about new opportunities with old friends and with new friends. Don't count me out just yet. As one comment was made on this blog..."The Sports Bar is closed...David IS NOT DEAD" and with that statement I was yanked back into reality. I'm so encouraged to receive the many calls, e-mails and comments. I've already revamped my blogsite, transformed from the Sports Bar green and white to a shocking PINK, with a new attitude and new focus, you may find me anywhere in the city, as I make my rounds announcing the HYPE & HAPPENINGS in Santo Domingo. "Don't cry for me Santo Domingo, the truth is, I've never left you." I'm alive, kicking and very much a part of the community. "I'll see you in Santo Domingo". Regards, David

Anonymous said...

To David my freind and mamma. You did everything you could to keep it a float and as your friend and investor to the Sport Bar I will miss it all. However, will remember the good times. Thank you David and Vickie for the opportunity to be your business partner over the last 15 months. Love you both David Brownlee

Anonymous said...

I just read in the DR newspapers that new laws will force all bars/discos to close at 12 midnight from Sunday to Thursday. And at 2:00 am on Friday and Saturday nights!! Some other closings may not be far behind! Damn!!
From Puerto Rico,
Rafael

Bahian Heat said...

Well David...if what Rafael says is true you might have gotten out just in time. The tributes to you are well deserved for a good man that had a dream and pursued it. We also salute you.

We have been thinking long and hard about returning to Santo Domingo for DIH3. At this point it doesn't look good. We are in negotiations with several other tourism bureaus to see who might want our business. It seems that DR is moving aggressively in the wrong direction. We hope that is not the case but the writing is on the wall.

We want to thank you again for being there for us during DIH2 and hosting our hospitality center. We never had to worry that you would we be closed when we got there in the early morning or that our guests would not be welcome. As you move to the next chapter please let us know how we can help. Take care brother and friend. Laurence & Kenny
Urbane Concepts

Anonymous said...

I was one of the three(3) that visit the sports bar that weekend, to me it was no need for the sports bar to be open that time of morning, but i was there.

I believe in supporting a good business and the sports bar was one of them.

Eddie said...

I just wanted to share something. In May I was in Santo Domingo to celebrate my birthday. Although I travel to Santo Domingo frequently, I had never been to the Sports Bar or met David. Usually, when I come I spend one night in the capital, and then go to a beach resort with my novio. I had heard so much about the Sports Bar and wanted to go, so I wrote David an email, introduced myself and let him know that me and my novio (and entourage) would be stopping by his bar. David, even though he had never met me, wrote me back and let me know that in honor of my birthday that admission for me and my novio would be free and our 1st drink would be on the house! When I got there he even had a sign and balloon display, wishing me Happy Birthday! I sat up at his bar in what he called the "seat of honor" and laughed and ki-ki'd with him like I had known him for years. That's how warm and friendly he is. I was so touched by a person being so genuine and friendly and doing what he did despite having never even met me!

So David, even though we only met each other once, I will not forget our meeting. I wish you the very best in whatever you decide to do! When I am in Santo Domingo next (probably not until November), I will be sure to let you know, and hopefully get together with you.

Eddie

Anonymous said...

In Hoy, El Caribe, and Listín Diario newspapers: "The sale of alcoholic drinks will be controlled in bars, discoteques, colmadones (neighborhood stores), casinos, pubs, and other places of entertainment. These businesses may only remain open until 12 midnight on Sun., Mon., Tues., Weds.,and Thursdays. Friday and Saturdays they may remain open until 2:00 am." This is part of the new laws going into effect to try to curb the apparent rise in criminality in the DR. Maybe David did get out in time as Laurence and Kenny wrote. But only time will tell if these laws will really be put into effect!
From Puerto Rico,
Rafael

Monaga said...

It was really nice to read so many tributes to David and the Sports Bar. I am biased, of course, but I think they are well deserved.

Anonymous said...

It almost seems as if the DR does not want any tourism, gay or straight. Maybe there needs to be a new destination discovered. The government here is getting more and more repressive. If they want to control crime, they could look into their officials and police officers.

Anonymous said...

David Lee,

The many testimonies that I have read are actually a reflection of your fine chracter. Our lives are measured by the impact that we leave on others. I chuckled to myself when I read about how special you made people feel. I had no idea that you made so many people feel so special, too ! Yes, the Sports Bar is gone but we still have You and will actually have more time to spend with you since you don't have to run the Bar. See you soon ! - Frank

Anonymous said...

Gosh, I was very disappointed to find that the Sports Bar closed as of Sunday, after I arrived on Monday. I am here for a week and bored out of mind. Buggies are nice but that gets very old. When Anthony had his guesthouse, there were lots of things to do, eben if it was just going to the supermarket to go grocery shopping or to take a ride around and look at houses for sale, or ride out into the country and eat chicken over one of his closest friends house. Then I was the last guest to stay at Casa de Monaga back in June/July 2005. I have now returned after being stationed in South Korea for a year. Now since I have been gone, I always knew that the Sports Bar was a safe haven from being in the streets and a good place to meet other American and Dominicans for good old fashion conversations and pool play. It was nice to have the bar tabs and everybody enjoying their cervezas. Now since i have been here since Monday, I have been bored out of my mind. I went to Bar Friends and it was packed like crazy, buggies and all. I haven;t see Anthony since I was here a year ago and now the pool hall is closed. Had I had known that all this wwere going down, I would have vcationed somewhere else. Without a car or knowing anyone with one makes being here very boring.

David, I wish you the best in all your future endeavors.

By the way Anthony, how have you been? You were the first person I asked about when I arrived yesterday. How does anyone get in touch with you. Does anyone still goes to Pacos late at night anymore? I hate walking the streets late at night by myself since crime is on the rise. If you have the time, I am at the Casa New Yorker and would like to hand out sometime with you.

After this trip, unfortunately, I don't think I will return to the DR if I can be convinced otherwise. The DR was very fun while it lasted.

Take care David and Anthony,

Antonio, Washington, DC

Nena said...

David,
After we talked, I once again became very excited about going on vacation~
All I can say...is look out Temptation Island, coz here we come~


History always repeats itself: you can never keep a good man down~aka David Lee!!!!!!!

con todo mi carino,
Nena~la Nuyorican

Anonymous said...

another rip off gone.