Have you seen the transformation that’s taken place inside (and outside) Cleary’s Pub?
New floors, new chairs, new front door location. New paneling. Three new flags outside. New front windows. A new marble counter top on the bar. New electric fixtures and wiring throughout.
And now, it’s even ADA accessible.
The complete remodel began on Super Bowl Sunday when Grass Lake’s Glenn Blaine and Rob Meyerink got the carpentry party started.
“They did two weeks work in about 5 days,” said Pat Cleary, the pub’s owner.
Everything – from the materials to the workmanship – was done locally, he said.
Twelve to 14 hours a day with as many as 23 people working at one time – all inside the 1,400 square-foot space.
The key to getting all the work done so quickly? Pre-planning, something Cleary said began months before the front wall came out.
“Everything was pre-done,” Cleary said with the help of his architect Bob Murray, while admitting that the months prior to the start date were the most stressful.
There were times on the last day that Blaine and Meyerink didn’t think everything would be done in time to open that fateful Saturday night, but it all worked out – from the new fixtures and electrical to the state-of-the-art new draft system.
“We dismantled the place in one day and put it back together in four days,” Cleary said.
Meyerink said he estimated that the crews worked 70-74 hours in those five and a half days and the finishing touches were being applied when the first customer walked through the door on Feb. 9.
“It really was Restaurant Impossible, but we did it,” Blaine said, adding that the Chelsea Area Construction Authority inspectors were there when promised so work never slowed down.
“They were great to work with,” Cleary said.
The key to remodeling a bar is to get it done as quickly as possible because no money is coming in from customers but money’s going out in construction costs.
“At 5:30 we reopened and customers were coming in as we tore down the temporary barriers,” Blaine said.
So far, Cleary says, he’s heard nothing but positive things about the changes.
“It was a hard week but when you reflect back, it was fun,” he said, adding, “The whole thing; it was an awesome team effort.”
Since then, Blaine and Meyerink have been back to finish up some detail work and there are still a few more small items on the check list but all in all the transformation is amazing – especially considering all the time constraints.
“It’s not easy doing nice finish work in a hurry,” Meyerink said, “But everyone came together.”
And Irish eyes were smiling inside the pub earlier this week for Cleary’s 22nd St. Patrick’s Day celebration.