Spats, a longrunning Berkeley bar that's been around in one form or another since the '60s, has spent the last five years in shutdown mode, with prior owners Philip and Cynthia Taw giving up the space in 2009. But now a team of Berkeley investors is looking to revive the historic bar, which was known for its weirdly named cocktails and kitschy style. As Berkeleyside reports, Nathan George, a local developer, has teamed up with a dozen other investors to take over Spats and all its assets, which include a lot of quirky decor (think taxidermy, a burgundy velvet couch that apparently was once part of a brothel's furnishings, and a Louis Vuitton steamer trunk used as a table). The bar, in a prime location, was going for a cool $1.75 million a few years back, though it's unclear how much George and co. paid for it.
To bring Spats back, George and his partners are currently seeking an operator who can run the space under its old name; the liquor license is still active, and the team is working on permits to update the bathrooms and the exterior signage, which means that a new owner could conceivably have Spats up and running by this fall. If no one expresses interest in the sprawling space (which includes a jungle-themed tiki room and two indoor gazebos), then they may attempt to build housing on the site. Although they say they don't want to demolish the bar, the city apparently considers it an eyesore. We'll have more on what's coming up for Spats as the news is revealed.
· New Spats owners hope for fall opening [Berkeleyside Nosh]
· Spats, Vacant since 2009, Is Officially Up for Grabs [~ ESF ~]