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Plans for a sports tavern continue after co-owner died from COVID-19

Plans were rolling for a sports tavern in Downtown Odessa, until back in June, Patrick Rodriguez lost his life while battling COVID-19.

ODESSA, Texas — The City of Odessa is seeing growth in their downtown area even during this pandemic.  

Downtown Odessa Inc., says that the ball is rolling and has momentum but it wasn't an easy ball to get rolling so they'd hate to see it stop. 

The good news? Downtown Odessa Inc., says there's still plenty of room for opportunity. 

 "Downtown is a place for everybody to come its not the east side, west side, north side or south side. Its not your side its a place for everyone and even during a pandemic there's places to eat, things to do and things to see," said Lawanna Lambert, executive director for Downtown Odessa, Inc. 

That's why a few local business partners are taking their chances and still opening a new tavern downtown. 

One of those businesses was hit by the virus, but in a different way than most. 

Building a sports tavern in Downtown Odessa was a project taken on by 2 brothers and Bradley Marquez, a retired NFL player. 

Business plans were rolling, until back in June, Patrick Rodriguez lost his life while battling COVID-19, now the tavern will be named in his honor. 

"The Patrick Clay Tavern," said Shawn Rodriguez, one of the business owners and Patrick Rodriguez's older brother. "We thought it was a good time for us to come in early and hopefully put our mark on downtown."

Even with COVID-19 around, downtown Odessa is still growing. 

3 guys born and raised in town saw an opportunity and ran with it. 

"The original name of the tavern was the icon tavern of course we were going to have all of the memorabilia of all of the iconic moments in sports you know whether it was Mohamed Ali standing over Sunny Liston or Willie Mays backward catch and that was the concept and it still is the concept," explained Rodriguez. 

After Patrick died, Shawn and Marquez thought hard about whether to continue their plans or not, but it was decided that they had to, even if their plans were delayed and changed. 

"This was his dream that is the main reason why I'm continuing this because I definitely want to do right by my brother and make sure this thing happens," said Rodriguez. 

Some of those changes fell into place in a serendipitous way. 

"The reason we decided to name this place after Patrick because even in the original conversations I would tell Patrick I think the name is missing something I'm not sure what it is but there's something missing," said Rodriguez. "So after Patrick passed, Me and Bradley talked about it and decided Patrick Clay sounded like a nice tavern name but to keep the sports theme because he loved sports more than anything."

Patrick's parents actually named him after icons himself. 

"During this crisis that we're going through it has hindered the process but its not going to stop us from going forward. It was his dream and its slowly become mine and Bradley's dream as well," said Rodriguez. 

A contribution to a downtown area that's being revitalized by a group of homegrown men. 

The group hopes to start construction by January and has plans to open by late spring. 

There's also another two restraunts that have opened downtown in the last month, The Side Bar and Grill and Super B's that sells Cuban cuisine.  

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