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Saints Pub + Patio closes near 23rd and Iowa as speculation heats up that 810 Zone set to take the space

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Get out that giant foam finger, the crimson and blue body paint, and all the other accessories required to be a self-respecting patron of a sports bar. The speculation is certainly heating up that one of Kansas City's larger sports bar chains is coming to Lawrence.

As we reported last week, there's a lot of talk on the street that 810 Zone, the sports bar chain that is part of the sports talk radio station 810 WHB, is interested in coming to Lawrence, especially along south Iowa Street. Well, a large spot has become available. Saints Pub + Patio, near the southwest corner of 23rd and Iowa, has officially closed its doors. The Saints spot certainly was the location most frequently mentioned by sources as a spot for 810 Zone to locate. There's still no official word from 810 Zone on its Lawrence plans, but I suggest you keep your foam finger on the pulse of this one.

"I don't want to say anything is 100 percent certain, but that definitely is the rumor I'm hearing," said Josh Thomas, who was the manager for the Saints operation in Lawrence.

Thomas added he expects to see the location, which can accommodate about 500 people, to be operating again in about a month's time.

Thomas said Saints had been open in Lawrence for almost three years.

"Business wasn't too bad, but of course, everybody would like to be busier," Thomas said.

As for 810 Zone, the bar and restaurant operates three locations in Kansas City — in the Leawood Town Center, the Harrah's Casino in North Kansas City and in Lee's Summit. The restaurant serves a variety of sandwiches, steak, fish, barbecue and even some fried chicken, according to the menu online. But it also is selling atmosphere. The Leawood location, for example, touts that it has 7 high-definition television screens of 100 inches, plus many of the booths have their own individual televisions as well. It also promotes a family fun area, "in-wall digital entertainment," and a 55-inch widescreen video golf area. The restaurants also include areas for 810 WHB to host live broadcasts. 810 WHB isn't one of the stations that carries KU football and basketball, but it extensively covers it. One of the station's top personalities, Kevin Kietzman, has deep K-State roots, and he's been known to rile a few KU fans over the years — which of course means that a regular feature with Kietzman coming to Lawrence probably would produce some good radio.

I'll let you know if I receive any official announcements from 810 Zone about their Lawrence plans. If 810 Zone, however, does move into the market, it will make for an interesting time in the sports bar scene. Noted radio personality David Lawrence, who is the color commentator for KU football, is in the process of opening his own sports restaurant and bar at Bob Billings and Wakarusa Drive. As we reported last month, Lawrence has partnered with longtime restaurant owner Matt Llewellyn of 23rd Street Brewery to go into the former Bambino's Italian restaurant space.

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  • Comments

    Terry Lee 7 months, 2 weeks ago

    Will the burgers at 810Zone be served with a side of Keitzman snark and slathered with a piquant dollop of Wildcat whine?

    Richard Andrade 7 months, 2 weeks ago

    Well, depends on whether we're talking football or basketball, doesn't it?

    Scott Quenette 7 months, 2 weeks ago

    It might be my car radio but I can't even get 810 here, I have no frame of reference for this thing.

    Richard Heckler 7 months, 2 weeks ago

    There is not enough business in Lawrence which is why Saints closed down. The 810 folks best think long and hard before coming to Lawrence. That is a recognized retail dead zone.

    There is no shortage of sports bars in Lawrence. In fact most bars of any kind are sports bars. There is nothing unique about a sports bar. In general they are the same…… food,brew and screens.

    The owners of that strip mall should tear it down, tear out the asphalt, create a beautiful horticultural 11 wonder of the world and offer this as a outdoor sports bar in the shade of the trees and flowering shrubs inner laced with a host of Kansas grasses. Now we're talkin unique.

    7 months, 2 weeks ago

    Minneapolis has an outdoor sports bar and it's the busiest sports bar in the city. It really is a blast. You can play badminton, sand volley ball (small court,more fun), horse shoes, as well as darts and pool...all outdoors. Lots of trees and grass and picnic tables and live music. Doesn't get much better.

    Steve Jacob 7 months, 2 weeks ago

    810 Sports is ok, but Buffalo Wild Wings 3 blocks away will kill it.

    Sean Robinson 7 months, 2 weeks ago

    From a students perspective this is a terrible idea. Any bar south of 23rd Street that is banking that students will come and support a bar in that location is an idiot. Most students want somewhere they can walk to and from (like Mass/The Hawk/The Wheel/ Louise's West/ Rick's etc). 23rd street is just simply too far away plus you have to find people to take you and pick you up. It's too big of a hassle. Saint's tried to appeal to KU students with their dirt cheap drink prices, free shuttles home, and daily specials but it didn't work out...why is this going to be any different? Students don't want to go past 23rd St to get hammered. There are too many referees on Iowa St that will tag you the second you pull out of the parking lot....not worth it in my opinion..

    Matthew Herbert 7 months, 2 weeks ago

    Can't we just celebrate the closure of Saints?

    Tom Hilger 7 months, 2 weeks ago

    Saints was a NASTY place to eat! I had to sanitize myself after eating there.

    Jessie C. 7 months, 2 weeks ago

    Saints treated their employees terribly, plus the food they served was overpriced and gross. Not sorry to see them go.

    Lee Eldridge 7 months, 2 weeks ago

    The location wasn't the problem. Food was bad. Tried it a few times. Not surprised they're closing. Hoping the food at 810 is better. Have not been to their KC locations.

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