Troubled Sports and Spirits tavern razed

The Sports and Spirits bar on East Wayne Street was razed Monday, July 17, 2017.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The once-troubled Sports and Spirits Bar and Grill along East Wayne Street is no more. A demolition crew razed the tavern at 1723 E. Wayne St. early Monday.

The Sports and Spirits Bar and Grill at 1723 E. Wayne St. is shown on Wednesday, March 8, 2017.

It was March when Deister Machine Co. Inc. petitioned the city Fort Wayne’s Board of Zoning Appeals for permission to put up a 17-foot-high electronic sign that would showcase company’s logo and a digital electronic board where Sports and Spirits operated until September 2016. Deister, which builds mining equipment two blocks away at 1933 E. Wayne St., planned to buy the property and level the building only if its petition to erect the signs was approved.

Since then, though, Deister president Mark Deister said rather than raise an electric sign, he planned to turn the property into a small green space with a memorial. The company will hold a memorial service to remember those who were killed, as well, Deister said.

Over the last decade, Fort Wayne Police were called to Sports and Spirits 436 times, including 12 times on reported shootings and seven times for reported stabbings. In September, the bar’s owners voluntarily relinquished their liquor license and said they do not plan to reopen the day after a shooting at the bar left three men dead and two more hurt.