Elected officials, candidates and Chamber of Commerce members explored the newly renovated — and enlarged — Mulcahy’s last Friday.
Just as he has welcomed patrons since his family took over the popular Wantagh concert hall and bar in 1983, owner John Murray Jr., 63, greeted his guests, including Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, County Legislator Steve Rhoads, Hempstead Town Clerk candidate Kate Murray and Town Board candidate Christopher Carini.
Murray’s son, Tim, 27, stood behind the bar in the new addition and wiped down the marbled countertop, which glistened in the newly hung bar lighting.
“This extension has been in the plans for a little over two years — about two and a half years,” John said. “We theorized that we could use more space and use it 12 months out of the year than having an outdoor bar. I think it’s better for us.”
The new, slightly elevated extension occupies space that was once an outdoor bar area to the left of the stage, and has a clear view of it. It has a long bar and ample room for tables. The space can also be rented for private parties. But most important, for the Murrays, is that it can be used year-round.
“We’re busier in the fall and the winter, so we figured to get the most out of those months,” Tim said. “The outside was useless in the fall and winter . . . Everyone goes out to the Hamptons and Montauk in the summers, so what’s the point of having a beautiful outdoor bar in Wantagh? Might as well enclose it.”
Tim also pointed out that more seating for shows was important to the Murrays, and an integral reason why they decided to make the change.
Part of the new addition is a private mezzanine-level balcony that funnels into the club’s VIP area, the George Francis Room. It includes a private bar, couches and chairs, eight tables and access to private restrooms, as well as the balcony for viewing the show.
“No other live music venue around here has a private party room where you can walk out and see the stage,” Tim said. “A lot of places have these kinds of rooms, but they’re in the basement or upstairs. Now, with what we have, you can come out to the mezzanine, enjoy the crowd, enjoy the stage and the music, and then go back inside and it’s private again.”
Mulcahy’s is also building an elevator in the new section that can bring patrons, especially those with disabilities, up to the second floor. The bar has also changed the food menu to accommodate those looking for more choices.
The work is still not finished, but the Murrays say they are proud of how far the bar has come, where it is going and how it is staying in the family.
“He’s kept it going for so long,” Tim said of his father, “so hopefully I can keep it going, eventually until the next generation, and the next generation, and so on.”
“Hopefully,” John interjected, “he can get married and have children!”