UPDATE: Iconic Saginaw Bar still open despite rumors, announcements to contrary

Published: Apr. 16, 2021 at 9:36 PM EDT
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SAGINAW, Mich. (WJRT) (04/16/2021)--Rumors of an iconic Saginaw bar’s shutdown appear to have been greatly exaggerated.

It’s been reported the Savoy Bar and Grill on South Franklin Street would be closing permanently, according to a recent announcement. The building’s owner addressed the announcement, which he viewed as misinformation, in a conversation with ABC12 Friday.

It’s been more than 40 years since Peter Keenan set up shop at the Savoy. There you’ll still find him most evenings, tending bar for familiar faces.

“We’ve been here forever,” he said. “Ups and downs, good times, bad times. We love downtown.”

So, Keenan said he was surprised when he started getting phone calls and saw his building on TV. The source of his confusion appeared to stem from this Facebook farewell shared by the Savoy Bar and Grill. The post, which garnered hundreds of likes and shares, announced that, after a year with its doors closed, the restaurant had no plans to reopen.

“I’ve been open through the whole pandemic when the state allowed us to be open,” Keenan said.

Keenan reached out to ABC12 in an effort to clear the confusion. Keenan explained he owns the building and operates the bar. The folks behind the Savoy Bar and Grill had only leased the space. He called it a simple dispute, one that undeniably led to a major mix-up.

The Savoy’s iconic bar remained open to patrons Friday. As for the now former restaurant that once filled the space, it’s in for a face lift with renovations expected to be complete in around three months.

“We’ve put in over $25-thousand already in renovations, try to… get the restaurant up to code,” Keenan explained.

40 plus years in business on this slice of Saginaw, last year, his toughest yet. But, Keenan explained, that fact proves significant given his landmark bar is still standing, with no plans to do anything else.

“The downtown needs us,” he said.

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