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Matthew Odam
Co-owner Marcos Canchola tends bar on the opening night of MugShots in 2002.

One of downtown’s most beloved dive bars has plunged into history. The owners of MugShots on East Seventh Street announced on Facebook over the weekend that it had closed after almost 20 years.

The friendly bar that always attracted more of a local crowd that its downtown brethren on Sixth Street opened in 2002 at 407 E. Seventh St.

The fun bar with attitude posted a tongue-in-cheek reason for its closing: “We could go into reasons for our decision or cast blame, but that is NOT the MugShots way!”

Marcos Canchola, Brian Hyde and the late Keith Young opened MugShots in December 2002, and the bar was a cornerstone for a family of bars that would grow to include The Hideout Pub, Bender Bar & Grill, Pour House Pub, Violet Crown Social Club, Pour House Pints & Pies, all of which are temporarily closed. Canchola also owns Barfly’s on Airport Boulevard.

"We want to thank all the people that have graced our doors for nearly 18 years. Your loyalty to MugShots has been like no other,“ the owners said in their Facebook post. ”A special thanks to all our staff members past and present, your dedication is what separated MugShots from your typical downtown bar. Over the years you became like family, and you will truly be missed.“

Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an order closing all bars in March. Bars were allowed to reopen at 50% capacity on June 3, but following a spike in COVID-19 cases, bars were once again closed by order on June 26. Many bars have reopened in recent weeks, using food sales to adjust their gross sales numbers that show alcohol sales make up less than 51% of their revenue.

MugShots on East Seventh Street has closed permanently.