April 3, 2012
Sweetwater Restaurant & Bar shuts down

After eight years in business and two locations, Sweetwater Restaurant and Bar shut down for good as of Sunday. Co-owner Brad Ross cited high rent costs as the primary reason for shutting down.

Sweetwater opened in 2004 at its previous location on 56th and J streets, and then moved to its most recent locale on 19th and S streets about two and a half years ago. Its dinner menu focused on a variety of soups and sandwiches, along with such meat 'n' potatoes entrees as cowboy steak with chimichurri sauce and prosciutto stuffed chicken. Its bar was also a well trafficked spot for happy hours and watching sporting events.

Ross said diners simply aren't spending money like they used to.

"Business had been solid but the economic climate has changed," said Ross. "People rely on Groupons and happy hours. It's now a big part of our culture, but the profit margins haven't changed. Therefore, some other things have to change as well. People used to come in and spend $100 on the way home from work. That $100 doesn't exist very often now."

Ross, who co-owned Sweetwater with Tom Rockenbaugh, said there's no plans for now to re-open Sweetwater in a different spot.

"It's a great location and has lots of growth potential," said Ross, about Sweetwater's former 19th & S spot. "It's best for us to wipe the slate clean and maybe look again in a few years."

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