The Swinging Door in Richmond closing after 50 years

The popular BBQ restaurant and dance hall opened in 1973

RICHMOND, Texas – A popular BBQ restaurant in Richmond has announced they will be closing after 50 years in business.

Steven Onstad, owner of The Swinging Door, took to Facebook to announce the closure.

“Being a huge part Fort Bend County the past 50 years I want to give a big THANK YOU to all of our wonderful customers, customers that became friends, friends that became family and especially all my employees throughout the years that created the backbone of this establishment,” Onstad said. “It has been a honor to be a part of the last 50 years of memories. We have been blessed to have been of service to this area. However, this old BBQ guy has decided to move on to another chapter in life, that being said Swinging Door is closing its doors.”

According to the restaurant’s website, The Swinging Door opened on Labor Day in 1973. As the business grew, a dance hall was added onto it. The restaurant had many special guests, including many from the legendary Houston Oilers football team such as Earl Campbell.

Longtime customer Karen Bringol said the food and the staff has been keeping her and her family coming back since 1983.

“It’s just a family tradition and it’s gonna be sad to see it go but he gets a chance to retire and do what he wants to do,” Bringol said.

Don Mayhall said he is part of a bike group that’s been dining at the restaurant every Wednesday since 1988.

“It’s the atmosphere,” Mayhall said. “It’s got a rustic atmosphere and the BBQ matches the rustic atmosphere.”

Mayhall said with the Swinging Door closing on May 14th, next Wednesday will be their last.

Onstad said he’ll miss the customers, but he has to close one door in order to open another.

“I’m just looking to do some new stuff. I’ve done we ought of this, ridden the roller coaster ride ever since the pandemic things have changed and it’s definitely changed my attitude,” Onstad said. “It’s not as much fun as it used to be so I’m looking to start a new chapter, do some new things, get out, do a little fishing, spend time with my grandson. Work on my tan laying by the pool enjoying a cocktail or whatever.”

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