The Octopus, dislodged from its original home sandwiched between the now shuttered Guild Theaters, had hoped to re-open tonight in their new home on the corner of 45th and Bagley to mark their sixth anniversary. Unfortunately (and predictably), construction delays have pushed the re-opening out, according to co-owners Liza Danger and Trevor Marsh.
“We had to double the power to the building,” Trevor told me, “but when our electrician submitted the plans to the city, the reviewer had some issues with the designs. We escalated it to a senior reviewer, and the plans were ultimately approved, but the back-and-forth process added about three to four months onto process.”
While they were waiting for the approval process, all the finish work and “octopuzation” had to wait, as well.
“We can paint, we can do arts and crafts all night, but when it comes to the electrical, everything has to wait,” Liza explained. “Until everything was approved, we couldn’t close up the walls or the trench for the plumbing, and that means that all the cosmetic work was on hold, as well.”
The good news is that they’ve cleared the hurdle, and as soon as some stairs are added to the outside platform for an egress, they’ll be able to get back to work in earnest, weekdays and weekends, getting the bar ready for a new mid-March launch date.
“This is about getting our customers back out and re-creating the community we had before and remind everyone we’re still here,” Liza said.
Trevor added, “Murphy’s and Changes offered to have our staff work alongside them, but all of us would rather get together and enjoy ourselves. We’re all missing that space, we’re looking forward to seeing everyone together again.”
If you’re wondering what might happen to the old Octopus space (and the adjoining theater buildings), I’m sorry to report that there’s no news. Trevor and Liza have been in contact with the realtor represented the theater owners, and it doesn’t sound like there is a plan or buyer in place at this point. The Octopus has offered to partner in a rehab of one or the other of the theater buildings, but nothing has come of that to date.
“They’ve been responsive to requests to clean up the graffiti and garbage out front,” Trevor said, “and I think they’re keeping the lights on to make things look better.”