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Martick's to reopen as speakeasy

The late Morris Martick closed Martick's Restaurant Francais, his legendary Mulberry Street restaurant, in 2008 after a memorable 38-year run.

Now, Martick's is coming back -- as a speakeasy.

The operators of the speakeasy are Morris Martick's surviving brother, Alex, his nephew, Steve Shockett, and Brooks Bennett. Shockett said he and his partners hope to have Martick's Speakeasy open by early February.

In that it will be a licensed, legal establishment, Martick's will not run as a literal speakeasy but as one of the new breed of drinking establishments that celebrate the speakeasy spirit with classic cocktails and trappings, like hidden entrances and minimal signage.

Bringing the speakeasy spirit to 214 W. Mulberry St. won't be hard. It was a speakeasy.

The 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 last December, began his restaurant adventure, an aluminum-walled temple of classic French cuisine.

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