The Sandy Hut is dead; long live the Sandy Hut.
The owners of Club 21, Double Barrel, and Gold Dust Meridian are closing a deal this week to buy the 92-year-old bar on Northeast Sandy Boulevard, says the Hut's outgoing owner, John Berning. The Hut is a neighborhood landmark in part because of its giant sign and purple paint job—a majestically ruinous, windowless dive nicknamed the Handy Slut even on its own T-shirts.
Berning shut down the bar on March 1, and says that he expects to close today on the deal already in progress. Starting today, he says, it's the property of Marcus Archambeault and Warren Boothby.
Boothby declined to discuss any plans he has for the Sandy Hut, saying the deal is not complete.
Sandy Hut—long a bar reserved mostly for day-drinkers and old-guard lovers of formaldehyde-stiff drinks—enjoyed an unexpected resurgence recently after ditching their pool table and building a music stage, booking punk, garage and psych shows including a bizarre appearance by the Dwarves the day before New Year's Eve last year. Meanwhile, four blocks up the street, bar staff says Club 21 is cutting back on its live music.
Last June, Club 21's landlords submitted designs to demolish Club 21 (despite the bar's long-term lease) and put up a 220-unit apartment complex in place of the century-old building—once a Russian Orthodox Church—which sits on a vast parking lot and looks like a house Hansel and Gretel might find in the forest. According to a bartender there, Boothby and Archambeault were at one point considering moving the entirety of Club 21 to a different lot.
Berning says Boothby and Archambeault didn't approach him with a proposal to buy the business, but that he hadn't necessarily been trying to sell.
"We just kind of ended up in talks somehow," Berning says.