After weeks of rumor and speculation, the owner of longtime West Burnside watering hole the Matador—by anyone's account one of the finest bars, dive or otherwise, in our fair city—announced this evening the place will be closing its doors on Friday.
Owner Casey Maxwell had told the Mercury as recently as a week ago that discussions over its lease looked hopeful, and that he felt optimistic he'd be able to keep the 43-year-old tavern open. Here's what he posted on the bar's Facebook page earlier this evening:
It is with a heavy heart that I announce that this Friday September 12'th will be the last night of business for The Matador. Thank you all for the years of good times and laughs. Come down for one last call and say goodbye. All my best- Casey
"I know you got soul
If you didn't you wouldn't be in here"
The Matador (1971-2014)R.I.P.
The details of what led to the closure have been hazy—Maxwell declined to go into specifics in two earlier conversations, as they were still up in the air. But it appears possible the Matador is another victim of rising rents in a booming city—particularly as it's directly across Burnside from Providence Park. Maxwell's other bar, the Conquistador at SE Belmont, appears to be fine.
Willamette Week caught Maxwell's official announcement earlier this evening, and correctly notes it's just the latest longtime Portland watering hole to announce closure.
I'm going to miss a lot about this place. The nachos are pretty high on that list.