Amid piles of furniture, power tools and pieces of wood, Mike Gold is working to remodel the inside of what was once a bar with a reputation for trouble.
Gold and his business partner, Eric Houg, are opening The Slip 45 Sports Bar and Shipwreck Lounge at the location of the Mako’s Bar and Grill, which held the attention of the Police Department for its reputation of fighting and drug activity.
Inside the restaurant and bar, Gold installed brick-like deco on the walls, a stone-style flooring in the front of the restaurant, and slick metal-style walls in the men’s room.
He doesn’t call it “high class,” but he’s hoping to draw a different crowd than Mako’s did.
“It’s not the same venue, it’s just a different place,” Gold said. “Whatever it was before, we came in and leased the building.”
At the bar adjacent to the back lounge, he described the Mako’s design as “Coyote Ugly,” referring to the 2000 film, with metal gating.
He’s resurfaced the bar and installed red-tinted lighting along the top.
But the location still carries the reputation, prompting Mayor Lary Coppola to send a welcome letter from the city, with an undertone of caution.
Coppola’s letter said the city was there for the business, but warned that a continuation of Mako’s old habits would not be tolerated.
“Should a pattern begin to emerge where this is a common thread,” Coppola wrote referring to police related problems spanning multiple businesses at that location, “we will not hesitate to ask the Liquor Control Board to intervene and take whatever action it may deem necessary.”
Coppola specifically cited 206 police responses netted by Mako’s last year, prompting letters from former Mayor Kim Abel in previous years.
“We stand ready and willing to help you when necessary,” Coppola wrote, “but expect that you will not over-serve patrons or allow any level of drug use or related activities on your premises at any time.”
Gold is quick to point out the differences between his new business and the Mako’s bar. He said Mako’s was essentially an open club, where he’s placing barriers between the front and back of the buildings, with special events held in the back and a sports bar held in front.
The front will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner, with an espresso bar opening at 4 a.m. The back will offer a rotating calendar of events, from comedy nights to line dancing, and could even require a modest dress code which has not yet been determined.
He won’t require patrons wear suits and ties, but he does hope it will draw customers dressing a little nicer for a date.
“This is what differentiates us from what Mako’s did,” he said.
The facility will operate for almost 24 hours, opening at 4 a.m. for espresso and some breakfast items, targeting those commuting on the foot ferry, and remain open until 2 a.m. with calendar events in the back lounge.
While there is still work to be done, Gold is already interviewing employees to work at the restaurant.