With Cause Spirits & Soundbar's revival officially a lost, um, cause, two managers from Mac's Industrial Sports Bar have resumed their plans to open a bar in its place.
Last summer we reported Dan Fehrenkamp and Clint Matiska signed a lease to open Iron Door Pub in the Lyn-Lake space. That lease was terminated while Cause fought for its right to continue partying. But when the rock club's comeback fell through, the Mac's vets regained control of the corner spot and hope to begin renovations in two weeks.
Among the furor over Cause's demise and broader Uptown gentrification, Iron Door caught undue comment-section heat for opening what Fehrenkamp termed a sports bar where Uptown's last proper music venue stood.
"I didn't understand the scope and depth of the acrimony," Fehrenkamp admitted.
In an age when the Internet tells us we're either hipsters or bros, "sports bar" is a loaded phrase. Like Mac's, Iron Door aims to be a Joe Everyman bar where, yes, you could watch a ballgame (or not). In other words, they're not competing with B-Dubs.
"It's not just some meat head screaming at the TV," he said.
Iron Door will be a semi-official sister bar to Mac's, which is co-owned by Fehrenkamp's brother, Jim. The concepts are similar and Iron Door is stealing Mac's ballyhooed rueben recipe. Chef James Brown, whose resume includes Lynn on Bryant and Lucia's, will get funky in the kitchen doing from-scratch bar food.
The menu will be about one-third the size of Mac's sprawling catalog. Fehrenkamp plans to knock out the wall dividing the space, add some TVs and use the corner door -- which Cause blocked with its stage -- as the main entrance. The name stems from a large iron door they found in the basement and will incorporate into their back bar. But Fehrenkamp's most excited about bumping the tap handles up to 24 or so.
"In addition to being a regular nerd, I'm a huge beer nerd," he joked.
The first-time bar owner hopes to accrue some specialty casks and barrel-aged beers for Iron Door's planned opening around Memorial Day weekend. Fehrenkamp's not holding any grudges from the initial blowback, but admits it left him even more motivated to prove himself.
"I think when people see it they'll realize we're not here to ruin the neighborhood," he said.