New(ish) Kid on the Block

Nearly two years after a devastating fire gutted West Hollywood hot spot Micky's, the longtime Santa Monica Boulevard stronghold gets a new face... but the same old soul.

BY Greg Fieser

April 14 2009 11:00 PM ET

In August 2007, the venerable West Hollywood nightclub Micky's was engulfed in a devastating fire -- a freak accident that engulfed the space in flames, gutting the West Hollywood hot spot before firefighters could get the blaze under control.

Rumors followed -- "I didn't do it," owner Michael Niemeyer says with a laugh. "Everyone likes to talk, but it was a freak thing" -- but one thing was certain. Micky's would rise from the ashes.

After more than a year and a half of planning, building, and waiting, Micky's is ready for its grand reopening -- transformed into a modern, clean, slick-feeling nightclub that could only come out of a top-down overhaul. The brick walls on either side of the building are the only things that remain from the old structure. With everything virtually destroyed in the fire, architects and designers were free to do whatever they wanted with the new place.

Floors are covered in dark ash-gray hardwoods. The new bar is covered in a milky glass with ever-changing colored LED lights underneath. Dark gray cement-like bricks blend with vibrant orange glass subway tiles on the walls. Most notably different are the outdoor areas and new upstairs VIP lounge -- complete with low tables and ostrich leather banquets. Yes, folks, Micky's has expanded to the second floor, where a new bar and lounge await the throngs of people yet to come. Designers tried hard to make the new place light and bright, and in the daytime, the full glass fronts and giant skylight add to an openness that was sorely lacking in the old place.

Lest you think that all these changes have changed the vibe of Micky's, Niemeyer guarantees that its soul is still the same. She may have on a new party dress, but Micky's is still up to her old tricks: Namely cheap drinks, hot go-go boys, nonstop dancing, and filthy fun for all.

To prove Micky's is still the den of debauchery it always was, "Cocktails With the Stars" is making its way back to the bar -- the one night where regular Joes can rub elbows (and who knows what else) with their favorite porn stars. "It's the hottest mess you'll ever witness… in a good way," promises promoter Scotty B. And for the first time, the show will be broadcast to the world online via www.NickYoungXXX.com .

After years of waiting and wondering, the bandages are finally coming off and the face-lifted Micky's will be unveiled this weekend. Niemeyer took a moment from his hectic schedule and sat down with Advocate.com on the eve of this triumphant event to discuss the trials, tribulations, and traumas of rebirthing a gay landmark.

Advocate.com:WhenMicky's burned down, it was broadcast on the local news as their top story. What went through your mind when you saw your life's work going up in smoke?Michael Niemeyer: Well, I was in Montana when the fire started. I didn't even know! My neighbors were watching the satellite feed of the building burning and they called me up and said, "Get over here!" It was too hard to believe. You always think of these things happening to other people. What worried me most was that my brother [and business partner, Lann] was in the building at the time.

Tags: Business

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