New(ish) Kid on the Block
BY Greg Fieser
April 14 2009 11:00 PM ET
When you found out he was safe and the fire was over, what did you do? I had never paid attention to the insurance, you know, you just pay the thing, so I had no idea if we were covered. I didn't know what would happen.
Did you think of just moving on? It never occurred to us not to rebuild. Our next thought was when can we start it back up again. We had just paid off the building a year before, so we owned it now. Nothing else to do but rebuild.
There was suspicion --[ Laughs ] I didn't do it! Everyone likes to talk, but it was a freak thing. Workers were working on the A/C unit on the roof and it was electrical arcing that followed the path inside the building. It just went up so fast. There was nothing anyone could do.
What has this process of rebuilding been like?There's so much, you literally don't know where to start. First we had to get an architect. Then it took 45 days just to get preliminary drawings. We submitted to the city in December. Blah, blah, blah. It just goes on and on.
Are you concerned about opening a new bar in a troubled economy? Look, I'm not being overly optimistic or arrogant, but we know our business. We bought this place in '88 and people know us. Micky's has a long history -- it was the second [liquor] licensed establishment after Prohibition, it was a roadhouse in the '40s, started being gay in the '50s. Heck, Lana Turner's daughter used to sneak in the back door. We occupy a specific niche in the WeHo landscape -- 50% of our clientele are local; 50% are tourists.