published on March 23, 2017 - 7:06 AM
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The Downtown Club is slated for new life.


Rob Boese of Boese Commercial, the listing agent for the property at 2120 Kern Street in Fresno, will be relisted for sale next week at a reduced price of $1.1 million—down from $1.25 million.

The Downtown Club’s location has endured a series of ups and downs since 2013, when the members-only club closed after 50 years due to the recession and a decline in membership.

Shortly after the closure, restaurateur Nick Farid took over, opening The Downtown Club restaurant up to the public in October 2013. Then, in 2015, Kate McKnight and Ephiram Bosse assumed ownership of the space and renamed it The Republican.

The Republican restaurant closed in June and the space has been available for lease since.

Boese said the owner’s intent now is to sell the building.

In addition to reducing the purchase price, Boese said the building’s current owner is in the process of reapplying for a liquor license that can transfer to the new owner.

“This property will be sold turnkey, complete with a commercial kitchen, bar, the lighting fixtures and tables—everything—and a liquor license included,” Boese said.

The liquor license, he said, provides added value as potential restaurateur-owners won’t have to go through the process of applying for the license themselves and can instead begin serving alcoholic beverages immediately along with food.

A few potential buyers have already expressed their interest in the property at the reduced price point, Boese said, and he anticipates it will sell within 30 to 60 days of being relisted.

“One of the big advantages in our marketplace is there are very few commercial kitchens available downtown and probably none have liquor licenses included as part of the sale,” he said.

The building includes three spaces—the restaurant area and two smaller retail spaces, which new owners could opt to lease to other restaurant, bar or retail tenants. Those spaces could also be combined into one larger restaurant.

The liquor license, Boese said, would go with the building. He did not know if the license would apply to businesses that may lease the two smaller spaces from new ownership in the future. It would, however, work for the current restaurant space.

Kern Street is an up-and-coming area, Boese said.

With Boese Commercial and a host of other thriving businesses, including Tree of Life, Char Burger, and Bitwise Industries Hashtag, located in the renovated Hotel Virginia across the street, The Downtown Club building is a prime spot. 

“There’s been a lot of interest,” said Aaron Blair, the CEO of the Downtown Fresno Partnership. “It’s probably at the point where it needs an infusion of new ownership with different vision.”

While the location is ready for a restaurant it could be revamped into whatever new owners like. As a neighbor, Boese said he hopes whatever opens there fits with the emerging “downtown fiber.”

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