The lights are on at the Edison Club, and downtown Antigo is stirring.
Randy Reese of Over Dere Ventures LLC opened the doors of the long-vacant entertainment venue this morning for the start of cleaning and renovations, hours after the Antigo Common Council approved his purchase of the property.
“I wanted you to see the before,” Reese, his enthusiasm apparent, said. “Wait until you come back and see the after.”
The revamp of the structure is starting immediately, with construction and renovations expected to begin in mid-November with a target date of Feb. 1 for opening.
Reese said the venue, which will be known as “Over Dere on Edison Street,” will include a banquet hall and sports bar, with over a dozen televisions tuned into various events, including every NFL football game.
“It will be a fantasy football player’s paradise,” he said.
Pool tables and shuffleboard will be available and there will also be an area, complete with artificial turf, for a golf simulator and indoor cornhole.
Dining will be a mix of lunch and dinner entrees, chosen, Reese said, with an eye on filling a missing niche in the local restaurant scene.
“This is day one,” Reese said.
Reese had expressed an interest in another downtown building for the business, but that location fell through, with he and city officials coming to an agreement on The Edison Club instead.
Reese will pay $100,000 for the property, an amount reached by deducting a planned entrepreneur grant of $25,000 and the projected revenue of the contents of $25,000 from the $150,000 asking price.
“It is in the city’s best interest to sell the property so the city would have no further expenses for the property and a new business would be opened in the downtown,” the resolution noted.
The sale will include all mechanical systems, commercial dishwasher and disposal sink, range hood and Ansul fire suppression system, walk-in cooler and freezer, bar with all built-in coolers including wine refrigerator, portable refrigerator, and speed wells excluding glassware, all current wall-mounted stainless steel shelving, and ice machine.
The sale is contingent on the transaction closing within 30 days of the acceptance of the offer to purchase and the council approving the appropriate licenses for alcohol, dance hall, and amusement devices.
Reese and the city have also reached an apparent agreement on the remaining contents of the building, which he will purchase for an additional $10,000. Those items include tables, chairs, televisions, ovens, fryers, glassware, dishes, neon signs and artwork.
Reese is very familiar with the Antigo area, visiting relatives in the area for the past 20 years and owning hunting land near Mattoon for the past decade. He is currently renting a home here with plans to relocate permanently.
Aldermen also received hints of two additional downtown business opportunities, with Alex Mak of I Stitch and Print, a business based in North Hollywood, Calif., in attendance.
Mak is working with the city to bring a second location of the screen printing and embroidery business to downtown Antigo, and is also considering adding an art gallery as well. Among the buildings under consideration is the former Java Junction, now under city ownership.
“He’s serious about business in downtown Antigo and would be a welcome addition,” Mayor Bill Brandt said.
Mak said he chose Antigo for his expansion‚ which will be modest – because of the relatively inexpensive business climate, far different from southern California.
“It’s a good viable move to expand my business here, he said.
And he added that the mid-priced art gallery, which he hopes would feature local, regional and state artists, would feed nicely off a planned winery also being located nearby along Fifth Avenue.
Source: Antigo Daily Journal