The Martick's speakeasy we told you about last December is getting closer.

Brooks Bennett, the operator of the new Martick's, said he hopes to have the establishment open in early August, pending approval of the liquor license and from the health department.

The storied Mulberry Street property started out as a grocery store, run by Morris Martick's parents, who ran it as a speakeasy during the Prohibition years, and as a licensed bar from the repeal through 1970. It was then that Morris Martick, who died in December 2011, converted the property into a French restaurant. He retired and closed the place in 2008.

Fans of Morris Martick's restaurant will recognize its inimitable interior, which has been left largely intact. But they won't be feasting on pate and bouillabaisse. The new Martick's is not a revival of Martick's Restaurant Francais.

The new establishment will be a modern version of the bygone (illegal) speakeasy, Bennett said, with hand-crafted cocktails and a small, seasonally changing menu.

"It will be the best of both worlds," Bennett said, "traditional drinks and modern mixology."