Storied dump Full Moon Saloon will reopen in no more than 30 days as Garbo, a lounge catering to an over-25 crowd, owner John Saki said Tuesday.
Take that date with a grain of salt though. The bar has been undergoing renovations for two years now, since Saki bought it. In June 2007, he promised Elizabeth Large he planned to open it in six months.
Saki explained his purchase as a way to attract "a sophisticated crowd," and a more affordable companion to his restaurant next door.
"Adults have nowhere to go in this historic neighborhood," he said.
One thing is for sure: the renovated bar also looks like nothing in this neighborhood, where authenticity is priced over glitz.
Full Moon was for years one of Fells' diviest bars that also hosted well-known jazz and blues musicians. "It was the worst place," Saki said. "It was one of the only bars without a refrigerator. Everything was in buckets. There wasn't a bathroom."
But Saki's spent a half a million dollars remaking it, he said. He's added an onyx bar, granite floor, 20 bar stools done in leopard print, a DJ booth, a grand piano piano and an additional 1,500-square-feet of space to accommodate a dining room.
Even before it opens, the new owner is boastful about the new bar. "I changed a doghouse with no toilet to piss on into this," he said.
Garbo has been open for a year just for private parties and dinners, Saki said, but red tape with the city's Commission on Historical and Architectural Preservation prevented him from opening it to the larger public.
Tuesday he said that paper work was resolved and the grand opening should happen within 30 days at most.
The bar, which has a new dance floor, will play 60s and 70s music, as well as a live piano. Garbo will carry 80 wines by the bottle, 20 by the glass, and about 20 bottled beers. There is no tap in place now. The cheapest wine by the glass is $6.
The dinner menu is to be more affordable than Louisiana's, with prices ranging from $8 - $20.
Saki plans to keep it open six days a week, from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.