As of the first of the year, the keys to Newport Beach’s most famous bar, Blackies, have been handed to the building owner, Mario Marovic.
Will it be torn down to build condos? Will he put an alligator park on it? Will he triple the prices? Sadly, despite Newports lack of alligator parks, that simply isnt true. And neither are the other two.
The truth of the matter is that Marovic has been very hands-on with the business for nearly a year, despite not being an official owner until yesterday. In fact, he was the driving force behind the air conditioning, heating, and bathroom remodel, on his own dime. To make room for the bathrooms, he took square footage away from PJs, nextdoor, and gave them a rent reduction in exchange for the area– before ever even officially owning the establishment.
The much-loved manager, Les, is staying. All of the employees are staying. The peanut shells on the floor have been gone for a very long time, and their absence is not due to the Jan 1 passing of the torch, either. *** EDIT: These are NOT gone, I was wrong! Go throw peanut shells on the floor!)
A few smaller items behind the bar have been updated, but you can always count on the ice cold Blackies beer being an ice cold Blackies beer. The same people that have been working there for years will continue to be working there. The most noticable update? As discussions began last years, the establishment now accepts Visa/MasterCard, so you won’t need to make an extra stop for cash before heading out any longer.
The fears can probably most likely be alleviated by a Marovic himself, who said in regards to the hand over: “Blackies is a Newport institution and I plan on keeping it that way”
So fret not, and plan on going to get your ice cold beer sometime soon. It’s probably time to relive some of those memories, anyway!