The Anchor Pub in Everett has been closed since the owner was arrested on rape charges last week. (Sue Misao / Herald file)

The Anchor Pub in Everett has been closed since the owner was arrested on rape charges last week. (Sue Misao / Herald file)

Women say Everett bar owner was ‘a predator for so long’

Christian Sayre, owner of The Anchor Pub, was arrested in a rape investigation. Now women and co-workers are speaking out.

EVERETT — An Everett woman awoke on her bedroom floor early one morning in 2020, disoriented, in the clothes she wore a day earlier.

On her phone, she saw a Facebook message from Christian Sayre, the owner of The Anchor Pub who has since been arrested for investigation of three separate sexual assaults, according to an Everett Police Department report.

“Let’s see if you remember,” Sayre reportedly wrote, adding a “;)” face at the end of the message.

The woman, 22, had little memory of the night before, just brief flashes of visuals from the time she spent at Sayre’s bar, she told police. An upstairs office at The Anchor. Metal shelves lined with liquor bottles. Sayre’s hand on his crotch. His other hand on her waist. His pants down.

She went to a hospital for a sexual assault examination that day. The evidence suggested non-consensual sexual contact.

Sayre, 35, of Everett, was arrested last week and booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of two counts of second-degree rape and one count of indecent liberties. Everett police compiled a 15-page probable cause statement prior to the arrest, with reports dating to 2017.

The suspect posted bond over the weekend. A Herald reporter’s phone call to a number listed for him in a police report went to a man who identified himself as Sayre’s father. The bar owner could not be reached, and it was unclear Tuesday if he had hired an attorney.

Sayre took over the historic bar at the western end of Hewitt Avenue in 2014. It’s a spot with more than a century of history as a watering hole. Under his ownership, the bar gained — and quickly lost — its reputation as a bustling music venue for local bands.

The 22-year-old woman’s report was the most recent incident for which a judge found probable cause that Sayre sexually assaulted somebody who knew him through his bar. Police believe there are others.

The woman met up with friends at The Anchor around 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 6, 2020. Sayre was there. The woman had met him a few years prior through her father, who was also in the bar industry. Her father took her to The Anchor for her 21st birthday, she reported, to introduce her to a place her dad “believed she would be safe at.”

Soon after she greeted Sayre and one of Sayre’s friends, the three of them disappeared, according to the woman’s friends, who spoke with police. A friend told police that the woman was acting “100% normal” before she vanished.

One of the woman’s friends went looking for her in the bar, according to the reports. The friend asked a bartender where she could be. A customer seated at the bar told the friend she might be in the office. The bartender refused to tell the friend where the office was, police wrote, and declined to check on the friend himself, even though the bar was not busy. The three reappeared in the bar about 45 minutes later, police wrote. A friend reportedly described the woman as incoherent, despite her having had only a couple of drinks at the bar that night.

The 22-year-old woman believed the two men sexually assaulted her, she told police.

The forensic exam found DNA of two men on her underwear.

That woman was not the only person who received a text with a “;)” face from Sayre following an alleged sexual assault, according to police.

Since Sayre’s arrest, several men and women have reached out to The Herald with stories about Sayre and predatory behavior. All of those quoted in this story asked to remain anonymous for privacy and safety reasons.

One woman told The Herald she was assaulted by Sayre in 2018, on a night she had been hanging out with him at The Anchor. The pair got drunk, the woman said, so she walked Sayre to his home down the street — about a block away — to make sure he was OK. When the woman went to leave Sayre’s house, he slammed the door shut, she said, trapping her inside.

He started pulling her clothes off, she said.

“No, stop, please stop,” she told him, over and over. He would not listen, she said.

The woman said she didn’t report the assault to police at the time because she felt ashamed and she blamed herself for drinking so much.

“I was afraid no one would believe me,” she said.

“He’s been a predator for so long because he is charming and good at it,” the woman added. “He fully knows what he’s doing. He’s a complete narcissist.”

One man said in an interview he worked as a bartender at The Anchor from 2016 to 2017. Sayre often brought women into the bar and over-served them alcohol, the former employee said. Sometimes, the bar owner told bartenders to keep serving patrons, even if they appeared “extremely intoxicated.”

Often, the man added, Sayre would just grab a bottle of liquor and bring women up to a private office in the bar.

Sayre “would promise us employees he was making sure they were safe — that he was either going to get them a cab or take them home,” the former employee said. “After everything came out, it was like, ‘Oh. He was not doing that. He was not taking care of them.’”

In 2017, warnings about the bar owner circulated on Facebook and the bar scene as multiple people accused Sayre of sexual assault, the former employee said.

He and a few other employees at The Anchor quit when the allegations came to light.

“That’s when I started looking back at my time working there,” the former employee said. “I realized, looking back, there were multiple times where (Sayre) was acting sketchy. But he was my boss and I trusted him.”

The former employee said he and other employees felt terrible they did not notice something was seriously wrong sooner.

“He’s a sociopath,” the former employee said.

A second former co-worker corroborated the employee’s general story.

“People had been getting ‘roofied,’ and I didn’t even know,” the second man said, referring to a date-rape drug.

Another woman said she had at least three uncomfortable interactions with Sayre over the years, including one time when he cornered her during a concert at The Anchor. She said he was a “master manipulator.”

“He says all of the right things — it feels rehearsed, like it’s not real,” the woman said. “It’s like a robotic charisma. Everybody viewed him as predatory. The way he would leer at you and try to get close to you — try to cross your boundaries.”

Yet another woman said she was confident Sayre spiked her drink one night when she went out dancing with a friend at The Anchor. She and her friend had one beer each and then ordered cocktails, she said. Sayre was behind the bar, and told them drinks were on the house. The pair of friends returned to the dance floor. They made eye contact and realized, all of a sudden, they were both extremely intoxicated, even though they hadn’t had more than a couple drinks. Puzzled, the friends called someone to come pick them up.

Sayre reportedly ran out the door after them. He said something like, “Come back inside!”

When one woman’s husband showed up, Sayre was gone, the woman said.

The woman said his behavior seemed bizarre and dangerous.

“It is really scary. As a bartender you have quite a bit of trust,” the woman said. “As a young lady, we’re told not to leave our drinks around unattended. You’re told to tell the bartender if somebody is harassing you.”

She added: “To know the person who was the most dangerous to us was the person making the drinks — that’s absolutely terrifying.”

The Daily Herald plans to follow developments in this case. If you have a story to share related to the investigation, please contact reporter Ellen Dennis at 425-339-3486; edennis@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @reporterellen.

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