Thursday, June 6 — After closing in 2009, Zoobie’s Old Town Tavern in Lansing is set to re-open with new owners — and a new look — on June 17. The owners announced the grand re-opening date on the bar’s Facebook wall earlier today.
The 1,500-square-foot bar has been around since 1933 and has undergone a few name changes, but co-owner Sam Short said he and his management team wanted to keep the name bestowed on it by its most recent owner.
“We liked the name Zoobie’s and we really love the space,” Short said. “It has such a historic, feel, and it allowed us to do something we love to do — save a beautiful old building with a wonderful history. It would be a travesty if we didn’t keep buildings like these around.”
Short said he and his co-owners — Alan Hooper of Triterra Realty Group and Aaron Matthews of the Clark Hill law firm, both situated in Old Town — wanted to restore the building to its original state. This involved tearing away the plaster walls and tile floors to get back to the wood, which he estimated took about two months of work. Other changes included a new roof and HVAC system, updated windows and bathrooms, “significant” entryway work and the piece de resistance: the restoration of the bar’s vintage Sputnik-inspired neon sign.
“I really have to hand to Mel at Falcon Signs (in East Lansing),” Short said. “It looks phenomenal. It’s such an iconic symbol in Old Town, and it’s great to see it all lit up again.”
The grand opening will have drink specials, and will introduce the bar’s newly formed wine and beer clubs.