Mickey Rat’s Beach Club and Captain Kidd’s Restaurant will still be open next summer, but the future of the popular Southtowns hangouts may be in doubt after their owner sold the waterfront property to a local investment group.
Grandview Bay LLC, a group that includes developer William Paladino and attorney Acea Mosey, paid $1.45 million late last week to acquire the 4.26-acre property at 8934 Lakeshore Road in Evans. The property is assessed at $758,000, according to Erie County records.
Longtime owner Richi Alberts, who has been seeking to retire, said he did not sell the club or restaurant, but only the land. He said he will maintain and operate the two businesses for at least a year as a tenant, through next summer’s season, but “then we’ll see what happens with that.”
“So Mickey Rats will be open another year,” he added, saying he will make an announcement in the spring about whether it will be the final season.
Besides Paladino, Mosey and their families, the buyers’ group also includes the Castlebetre family, Joe Lombardo and Phil Tantillo.
Paladino, the manager of the group and CEO of Ellicott Development Co., could not be reached for comment Thursday morning to discuss their plans for the attractive property on the shore of Lake Erie. “It’s still a work in progress,” Mosey said.
But Alberts said he understood they were thinking about redeveloping the site for mixed-use, with some combination of hotel, bar, spa and condominiums that is still to be determined. “It’s going to help the town’s tax base,” Alberts said.
The future of Mickey Rats and Captain Kidds has been the subject of intense speculation and rumor for months, ever since Alberts put it up for sale after more than 44 years of ownership in his family. The combined club and restaurant has been a legendary waterfront entertainment destination in the Southtowns for generations of patrons, dating back to the 1940s, when over a dozen beach bars and establishments operated in that area, along with hundreds of waterfront cottages.
Alberts’ brother took possession of the current property in the late 1960s and then Alberts himself took over later, acquiring three other bars to add to the site and eventually building the current 20,000-square-foot complex, including the patio. Captain Kidds opened almost 35 years ago.
“We’re really part of the fiber of Western New York,” Alberts said. “It’s been around so long. You’re dealing with decades of people.”
Five different potential buyers looked at the property, and Paladino previously had it under contract earlier this year. But that deal expired in early September, so both sides negotiated the new agreement, Alberts said.