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Rick’s Tavern on Main, which has been in Santa Monica for 25 years, is reopening as Tavern on Main, located at 2907 Main St.
The bar, originally owned by Howard Alpert, is gearing up to reopen next month, hopefully by the Fourth of July weekend. The relaunch is made possible by Mark and Addie Van Gessel and Lance Sellers, who recently bought the bar from Alpert. The new ownership plans to add breakfast and lunch service while renovating the space to create a more authentic pub feel. This is the next chapter for the space on Main Street, initially Willie T’s, which opened in the 1930s.
“We offer something for everyone: great music, great sports viewing, and a great place to come sit on the sidewalk or by the bay windows and watch the local color as it goes by,” Addie Van Gessell tells The Santa Monica Daily Press. “We are really happy to bring our camaraderie and our hospitality philosophy to Main Street, and we’re really looking forward to becoming active members in the Santa Monica business community as well as providing a wonderful service to the neighborhood at large.”
Some planned breakfast items include chilaquiles, cinnamon churro french toast, fried chicken, pancakes, steak and eggs, and waffles. The Van Gessells, who also own Nighthawk Breakfast Bar, hope the new menu items will bring even more people in, as this will become the only space on the street to offer breakfast.
As for the house-favorite chicken wings, the new owners plan to keep the popular dish but add more flavors, such as buffalo, Cajun barbecue, garlic parmesan, Jamaican jerk, and a Thai flavored sauce. Other menu items guests can expect to find include bacon-wrapped shrimp, bacon mac and cheese bites, Cool Ranch Doritos chicken fingers, a Cuban-style sandwich, short rib poutine, and homemade cookies.
“We’re really so happy to become members of the Santa Monica and the Main Street community,” Addie continues. “We’ve been here for over 30 years, so we’ve seen a lot of things come and go, but we create places that we like to hang out in and we’re comfortable in and that we want to go to.”