Less than a week after Martin Mack’s Pub at 1568 Haight Street closed its doors unexpectedly, the bar has re-opened under new management and is back in business.
The pub’s new manager, Louise, who has over 30 years’ experience in restaurant management, took a few minutes to fill us in on the situation.
She said that although the change was “really devastating” for the bar and, of course, for the old staff, Martin Mack’s is back open with the sole intent of remaining a fully operational, successful neighborhood bar. All of the employees under the former management were offered their jobs back, she said, and although she regrets the turmoil caused to the bar and its staff, the plan for the future is simply to keep the bar open and profitable.
Last week’s open letter to the community from the original Martin Mack’s staff cited a legal dispute as the reason for the sudden change. The background of the case looks something like this: the new management is actually the result of a legal dispute that’s been going on since July of 2009, according to documents filed with the Superior Court of San Francisco. It was then that three local real estate LLCs (Corvorn LLC, Austin Court LLC and 2628 Telegraph Avenue LLC) filed a joint petition against Eileen Long, their business partner and wife of Brian Maloney, the original owner of Martin Mack’s Pub. In the summer of 2009, a petition was filed against Long to settle debts incurred in a joint business venture, the details of which remain unclear.
What is clear is that by August 2009, the tentative ruling in favor of the petitioners went forward, and the parties went into arbitration. Early in 2010, almost two years ago, the suit came out of arbitration and the court ruled in favor of the petitioners, and against Long, in a total amount of almost $1.7 million plus legal fees. Then, in December of 2010, the court awarded all of Eileen Long’s profits from Martin Mack’s Bar to the petitioners; on Valentine’s Day of 2012 the bar went into receivership, and a legal receiver was appointed to enforce the court’s ruling against Long and seize proceeds from, and management of, the bar. Hence the new management.
Louise emphasized that the bar’s current management — which was hired on as an uninvolved third party — doesn’t answer to any of the parties in the legal dispute, but rather only to the judge overseeing the settlement. She said the single goal at present is to stay open and continue running a thriving pub, and, hopefully, eventually to turn it back over.
When contacted for comment, Brian Maloney said that little legal progress had been made so far in overturning the decision, but that it was still very much a work-in-progress.
As always, we’ll keep an eye on it.
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