Less than a year after opening its doors, the Grand Central Bar & Grill will be closing its doors. The reason: a disagreement between Grand Central owner Jeff McCollian and the business’ landlord, Steven Campbell.
Campbell has informed McCollian that he won’t renew the bar’s lease when it runs out on July 1. Grand Central opened late in the summer of 2004, replacing the Boulevard Blues Club, which was shuttered earlier in the year at 3733 Grand Blvd.
“We’d love to stay; the people have been great,” McCollian said. “That’s the real kicker?”the support from the community has been there.”
He added that Campbell balked at renegotiating the lease after McCollian had a conversation with former Village President Bill Russ, who was also the village’s liquor commissioner, about how liquor licenses transfer. Word of that conversation got back to Campbell, who felt that McCollian was researching other venues for the bar.
Earlier during lease negotiations, Campbell said that McCollian sought a rent reduction. Campbell refused the request, and maintained that he had “standing offers” for the space at the current rent ($4,000 per month). Campbell added that a restaurant would be moving into the space, though he declined to name who it would be.
“I’m giving the new guy that same deal I offered [McCollian],” Campbell said. “We’re signing the lease [last] week. This has nothing to do with money, but has everything to do with process.”
McCollian said that he wasn’t “trying to do one over” on Campbell by talking with Russ about liquor licenses. “I had not looked at any properties or met with anybody.”
McCollian said that he was looking for another property in Brookfield for the bar, but that his options were limited.
“We’ll have some good parties in the meantime,” he said.
Campbell bought the former Vanik Video building at 3733 Grand Blvd. in 2001 for $85,000. The Boulevard Blues Club opened in that building in June of 2003 after Campbell renovated the space and added a full-service kitchen, an investment Campbell said cost him $500,000.
But in May 2004, the blues club was shuttered after it failed to turn a profit. Word that Grand Central Bar & Grill would replace the blues club surfaced in July 2004, finally opening Sept. 1.