Hennessy’s Irish Pub owners taking on former MAC space

Mike and Nancy Hennessy hope to bring life back to 333 W. Western in downtown Muskegon.

The owners of Hennessy’s Irish Pub & Restaurant are seeking a special Downtown Development Authority liquor license that would be used to open a new business in the former Muskegon Athletic Club space.

The MAC opened with great fanfare and customer approval in October 2008 but fell on hard times in the Great Recession. The upscale sports bar eventually closed last July.

“We are in the process of looking at our options,” Mike Hennessy said of plans for the former MAC. “We have nothing locked in yet as a concept.”

The Muskegon City Commission has an item on its agenda Tuesday to approve a DDA on-premise liquor license for Nemesis Inc. at 333 W. Western. Nancy Hennessy incorporated Nemesis on May 24 with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

The special DDA Michigan Liquor Control Commission license is designed to help redevelop downtowns like Muskegon. It was the same type of license that the MAC had prior to closing, city officials said.

The Hennessys brought an Irish pub concept to downtown Muskegon in February 2011. They opened a restaurant with a classic Irish pub in the back at 885 Jefferson in the former G&L Hot Dog restaurant. They are the longtime franchise owners of three Little Caesars Pizza outlets in the Muskegon area.

Hennessy’s has become the unofficial home of the Michigan Irish Music Festival and a showcase for music groups from across the state. It was the hottest hangout for those involved in the first St. Patrick’s Day event in downtown Muskegon this past March.

City officials are expecting some form of a sports bar to be opened in the MAC space. When the MAC closed, the business’ furnishings remained and the restaurant/bar was in a condition that would allow for someone to quickly reopen, they said.

Source:  Dave Alexander, mlive.com

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