High Strangeness: The Dream Dies Hard

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Dream Dies Hard

Those of you who read this blog regularly know that for many months I have had my heart set on buying "The Gobbler," an abandoned, flying saucer-shaped restaurant near where I live in Wisconsin, and turning it into an Intergalactic UFO Headquarters. My plan was to convert the circular space into a UFO archive, research center, snack bar and all-around groovy place to hang out. But no more...

The other day I got a text from my friend Lxxx that simply read, "noooooooo!!!!!" She sent along a link, but I couldn't open it on my phone so she relayed the sad news to me: "Gobbler has sold. Will become music venue." Then she added a sad face :(

I tried my best to remain in denial until my son's girlfriend Sxxxxxx forwarded the article to me today and I could no longer ignore the grim reality facing me:

"Former Gobbler restaurant being converted to live music venue"

... reads the headline in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Then it gets worse:
"The former Gobbler Restaurant, known for its revolving bar, purple shag carpeting on the walls and turkey-centric menu, is being converted into a concert venue. Renamed the Gobbler Theater, it could be hosting live events by the end of the year, said new owner Daniel Manesis.
"The 16,544-square-foot circular building, which sits on 9.2 acres just south of I-94 and west of Highway 26 in Johnson Creek, was sold to Manesis & Associates LLC for $635,000, according to state real estate records posted Tuesday.
"Manesis said he will spend about $1 million converting the building, which has been vacant for several years, into a venue for concerts and comedy shows. The building will be able to seat about 500 patrons, he said.
"There's a lot of smaller bands looking to fill a 400- to 500-seat venue," said Manesis, who owns Daniel A. Manesis Transportation Inc., a West Allis trucking firm."
So an owner of a "trucking firm" is going to turn my beautiful UFO into a "theater," and book "smaller bands." I guess we can look forward to a "Mini Kiss" concert soon. Whatever. 
I set this photo as "Extra-Large" and they're still a small group.

The whole thing is thoroughly depressing, especially when you get to this part of the article:
"(Manesis) acknowledged that he knows little about the entertainment business."
Oh boy...

Actually, I think there may be a whole lot of things he knows little about. For instance, the article points out that he bought the property for $635,000, but the price the realtor quoted me, and the price mentioned at www.buythegobbler.com, is $595,000. And that was reduced from $1 million + after the building had sat empty for over a decade. Makes you wonder...

4 comments:

Double Nought Spy said...

Man, that's a drag. But who knows, the guy is taking a huge gamble so it might be for sale again in a few years, plumbing and electrical all brought up to code, new purple shag and a nice sound system. The entertainment bidness can be a high maintenance bitch of a demanding mistress. I don't wish him bad luck or anything; that's a good use for the place I think.

Anonymous said...

What is disturbing is that there is a Mini-Kiss group in existence...

Mark said...

I do wonder what he knows about the concert industry? I obviously haven't ran numbers, but I am looking at $635,000 price tag + $1,000,000 in renovations to a place between Milwaukee and Madison and wondering how can they every cover the overhead?

Mark OC said...

It's a puzzler, all right. We just drove by the place a few days ago, and they have resurfaced the parking lot! First sign of progress we've seen in many months...