Close Out...Squid occasionally likes to howl at the moon. While The General is a cool new bar in Marina, Squid figures an old-school dive is the proper place to tie one on. So Squid oozed over to Mortimer’s Rhythm & Brews, a dark and rowdy Marina landmark, only to find the doors bolted shut.
Denied an old-school bender, Squid turned to social media to complain. But someone else had beaten Squid to it. Michael Reid, who claims ownership of the shuttered business (and who goes by the moniker Mägik Mikę) posted a lengthy rant to explain why he was forced to close. According to the post, Reid took over the business in 2017 and ran it until recently—he insists smoothly, although some posts dispute this. Mortimer’s occupies a space in a small shopping center that was owned by Tony and Roni Lombardi. Tony died in 2017 and Roni died earlier this year, but the property remained in the family.
In his post, Reid blames the Lombardi’s son, Anthony, for shutting him down. “Anthony Lombardi went to Marina PD, told them he’s the owner of Mortimers Rhythm & Brews and that I, Michael Reid was the manager, and that I’m fired. So I was strong-armed by Marina PD and forced to leave the property as they change the locks behind me.”
Whoa. Squid could understand the reason Reid is so upset. (Squid tried to track down Lombardi for his take on what went went down, to no avail.) Squid’s most recent visit to the establishment came in 2015 when Squid was looking for a friendly game of Go Fish with a colleague at the infamous card room. But Squid found the card room unexpectedly closed, although the bar was open. Squid believes it was called Buzz & Lee’s Cocktail Lounge at the time, but Squid is a little fuzzy on the matter, because Squid also remembers downing at few at Mortimer’s Lounge at the same location on Del Monte Boulevard. (Squid admits to being a lightweight.)
There's another, less complicated story: Marina is the newest city on the Peninsula to have legalized cannabis dispensaries. And Attorney Aaron Johnson and political consultant Brandon Gesicki have teamed up in hopes of opening one in the old Mortimer's spot, where they say they're already paying rent.
But the story spun by Mägik Mikę on the Mortimer’s Rhythm & Brews Facebook page leaves Squid's head spinning. He claims in the post that he had an agreement with Roni Lombardi and her brother, Gerald Taylor, to lease the space, which seems reasonable. Reid then explains that he had enough funding in 2017 to open the bar, but not for a liquor license—sorta necessary for a drinking establishment—which he pegs at $70,000. But he did find a unique way to solve the problem.
“Solution was, put the liquor license on a note, stating I was to make payments on the liquor license at an amount of $2,000 a month until the balance of $70,000 was fulfilled,” Reid wrote in his post. “This meant that the business name had to match the liquor license so I had to remove my name so Roni and Gerald could then apply making the two licenses match.”
Squid is no business lawyer, but Squid suspects that if the business and the liquor license were both in someone else’s name, that someone else may technically be the owner. The matter troubled Reid, but in a different way: “If I’m the manager where’s my paychecks / salary for the last 21 months.”
Squid’s head hurts, and Squid hasn’t even had a drink. Probably for the best. Squid knows better than to drink and ooze.
And Reid? He might try coming back to the business location in its next incarnation as a dispensary. Maybe it will help calm him down.