According to the folks at AnnArbor.com, there may soon be a new bar in the old Kresge building, at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Washington Street. It seems as though the owner of a bar called US-12 in Wayne has paid Karen and Eric Maurer to hold the property for 60 days, while he completes his due diligence and lines up funding. Here’s a clip from the article, which, to be quite honest, made me scratch my head a few times:
…(John) Goci said the “US-12 west” location would be similar to the one in Wayne. It is a sports bar during the day and early evening, then transforms to more of a small rock club at night.
He said the former Keystone Lounge (in the basement) would host live music, while the former J Neil’s (on the ground floor) would offer a sports bar ambiance. Goci said the bar may only serve burgers, fries, hot dogs and a few other items on a very limited menu, but several other possibilities – such as an omelet bar – are being considered. Goci added that he hopes to keep the location open 24 hours and provide wireless internet access.
(Goci’s local partner Jamie) Clippert’s family has deep roots in the city and area. In the mid 1800’s, they made their fortune in the region establishing the Clippert Brick Company, and Clippert wants to use the former Keystone to create a theme that celebrates that heritage, Goci said.
Goci, who is the treasurer for the Wayne-Westland Community Schools Board of Education, is estimating investing $100,000 to renovate and establish the new location, and the ownership configuration is still being discussed. Aside from Clippert and Goci, former J Neil’s and Keystone owner Dave Curtis, who owns the liquor license at that address, is part of the talks, Goci said.
Clippert’s “story” and the location are what got Goci involved in exploring opening another US-12. He underscored that he wouldn’t open a new location just for financial reasons.
Clippert is an active member of the American Dystonia Foundation, which causes involuntary muscle movement, and he has fallen increasingly ill in recent months. Goci said Clippert wants to leave his children and the community something when he passes on, and has shown a tremendous amount of energy in developing the project.
Clippert was most recently in discussions with Ypsilanti property owner Joe Lawrence about opening a medical marijuana dispensary in downtown Ypsilanti. Medical marijuana is used to relieve dystonia symptoms.
Goci said helping Clippert is his main motivation for getting involved with opening the bar.
“His story just really touched me, and the fact that he wants to do something to remember his family in the downstairs is great,” Goci said. “I’m not doing this as a business – I’m trying to help him, and when I help somebody it in life, it comes back to me 10-fold”…
I don’t know that I completely buy into the 24-hour nightclub with an omelet bar vision, but I totally think the city could use another downtown venue for live music, and I wish them all the best. In fact, I’m thinking about taking a road trip down Michigan Avenue to Wayne and paying US-12 a visit, in hopes of getting a sense as to what they might have in mind of Ypsi, so that I might be better prepared to help them… If anyone’s interested, I think that Wednesday might be a good day.
Say what you will, I think you’ve got to admire a Board of Education employee who would host a naughty school girl night. That takes balls.
P.S. If anyone can explain it to me, I’m curious as to how Dave Curtis, who, I believe, had his properties seized for non-payment of taxes, could still own the liquor license in question. Would that not be an asset that his creditors could lay claim to?