Griff’s Irish Pub, a Houston staple since 1965, severely damaged by fire

The popular Montrose business bills itself as the oldest sports bar in Houston. Management indicated Griff’s would rebuild in a social media post about the fire.

Griffs Irish Pub fire
Mark Norris/Houston Public Media
Boards are placed on the side of Griff’s Irish Pub, 3416 Roseland St., after it was damaged by a fire early Friday, Jan. 13, 2023.

Griff’s Irish Pub, an iconic Montrose business that bills itself as the oldest sports bar in Houston, was significantly damaged Friday by an early morning fire.

The fire started shortly before 4 a.m. Friday, according to the Houston Fire Department, which said no one was inside at the time and no injuries were reported. The cause was still under investigation as of early Friday afternoon, with HFD spokesperson Alicia Whitehead-Breaux saying in an email, “The building appears to be a total loss with $630,000 in estimated damage.”

“Griff’s will be closed until further notice while we rebuild,” the pub wrote in a Facebook post. “Thank you for all your support!”

Management at Griff’s, which has operated since 1965 at 3416 Roseland St., did not immediately respond to messages seeking further comment about the fire and its plans to rebuild.

The 2,392-square foot pub was constructed in 1955 and sits on a 5,750-square foot lot near the northwest corner at Roseland and Harold Street, according to the Harris Central Appraisal District. The property had an appraised value of $422,595 as of last January.

Griff’s was founded by Michael “Griff” Griffin, a Boston native who played basketball at St. Thomas University and remained in Houston. He sold the pub in the mid-1990s and has been a candidate multiple times for Houston City Council.

Griff's Irish Pub Fire Patio
Mark Norris/Houston Public Media
Griff’s Irish Pub has operated since 1965 at 3416 Roseland St. in Houston.

The bar has long been a popular place to watch local sporting events such as Astros, Rockets and Texans games. It hosts an annual St. Patrick’s Day festival and had planned a related fundraiser for later this month.

The pub’s brief post about the fire on Facebook had drawn more than 100 comments by late Friday morning, with customers new and old expressing shock and sadness about the news while also sharing their memories and what they like most about Griff’s.

“We are devastated,” one customer wrote. “Griff's is a place where everyone belongs, you can sit with a total stranger, make a new friend and have a great time, and it feels like home when you walk through the door.”

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