Saturday, December 20, 2014

That 'Always Sunny' bar is moving forward

The Old City Civic Association has given the nod to the project... with conditions.

That 'Always Sunny' bar is moving forward

Kaitlin Olson and Rob McElhenney take a buss break during filming last summer at the Italian Market. (BONNIE WELLER)
Kaitlin Olson and Rob McElhenney take a buss break during filming last summer at the Italian Market. (BONNIE WELLER) BONNIE WELLER / Staff Photographer

The Fx comedy It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is built around life at a Philly bar, and now a real bar to be part-owned by the show's creator/star is inching closer to opening.

Mac's Tavern -- at 226 Market St. in Old City, where Skinner's is now -- may even debut in time for St. Patrick's Day. (Note the new name; it was "Mac's Olde Towne Tavern" early on.)

This week, the Old City Civic Association told the state Liquor Control Board that it would not oppose the liquor-license application, the association's Richard Thom confirmed.

The new ownership group -- which includes Rob McElhenney, a few St. Joseph's Prep alumni, and his wife/co-star, Kaitlin ("Sweet Dee") Olson-- has assured neighbors that there will be no amplified music or dance floor, Thom said.

Nothing about random stagings of The Nightman Cometh, however.

There are plans to showcase smaller acoustic musical talent, said Eric Vesotsky, one of the partners. "We need to remain at a reasonable decibel level and can run sound through our house jukebox/TV speakers for such performances, however, we will never amplify such music."

Still unclear is whether the new owners will simply keep the bar open during the transition, or if they will close briefly to clean it up, said Bill Morrin, the attorney representing AMDG Partners. (Gotta love the choice of initials, which stand for "Ad maiorem Dei gloriam," as in "For the greater glory of God," the Jesuit motto.)

It's also not clear just how often the stars will actually be at Mac's, or, for that matter, if it will be used in the series in any way. Always Sunny makes annual pilgrimages to its namesake city to shoot exteriors.

Vesotsky will operate the bar with another of McElhenney's schoolmates, Ben Haney, who actually taught at the Prep. Recently, the names of two additional investors showed up in LCB paperwork: Todd Biermann, another Prep grad, and his fiancee, actress Andrea Roth of the Fx series Rescue Me.

Not that McElhenney and Olson need the bucks. Fx has reordered a whopping 39 episodes of It's Always Sunny.

(Previous coverage here.)

* Post edited to change bar's name.

Michael Klein Philly.com
About this blog
Michael Klein, the editor/producer of philly.com/Food, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here. Reach Michael at mklein@philly.com.

Michael Klein Philly.com
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