GRAND RAPIDS — New ownership plans to turn Local 741 into a neighborhood bar after acquiring the site from a partnership involving an affiliate of Third Coast Development LLC.
James Matthews, owner of Iron Well LLC, purchased 741 Leonard St. NW and Local 741 from Third Coast on March 20. Terms of the deal, which included Class C liquor and specialty designated merchant licenses, and the property transaction were not disclosed.
Local 741 — a bar and live music venue operated by 3C Restaurants LLC, Kevin Farhat and Tony Knight, per Michigan Liquor Control Commission records — announced on its Facebook page the same day that it was purchased by new ownership.
Matthews purchased the business along with the Benit family, which owns Fusion Salon & Spa on West River Drive and a handful of other small service businesses. Matthews and the Benits also own SteadyFare, a ridesharing app.
This is Matthews’ first time owning a bar and owning commercial real estate.
“We’re going to change the context and turn it into a neighborhood bar that’s a little bit of country and a little bit of rock and roll,” he told MiBiz.
Matthews wants to minimize downtime at the bar and is aiming for a soft launch in May. He said he hopes for renovations, such as redoing the parking lot and cosmetic fixes in the interior and exterior, will be finished by late June.
Third Coast in August 2017 acquired the former Kuzzins Lounge, later rebranding it as Local 741, in a deal that also included Drake’s Pub in Wyoming, which is now known as Garage Bar & Grill South. The initial deal came about as two members of the Farrah family, the original owners of the two bars, were sentenced to prison for tax evasion, as MiBiz previously reported.
Under the new ownership, the company positioned 741 as “kind of a punk rock bar,” Farhat previously told MiBiz.
A representative from Third Coast acknowledged a request for comment, but did not respond to MiBiz as of press time.