Restaurateur Alex Hult and party producer Donovan Friedman weren’t really preparing to just take over the shuttered Mountain Charley’s saloon from the Farwell family.
“We ended up conversing about how to inject some additional lifestyle into downtown Los Gatos,” claims Hult, “specifically nightlife. It is sorely lacking in this article in Los Gatos. Donovan and I experienced been kicking close to a concept of an immersive encounter. We weren’t definitely wanting for a location, but then Mountain Charley’s was readily available.”
The pair a short while ago took in excess of the lease on the outdated Mountain Charley’s, which opened in 1972, and have currently posted the ABC allow for the title “Immersive Los Gatos.” The plan is for a seasonally rotating pop-up topic bar, with evening meal reveals and distinctive events. Arrive the close of September, the outdated Mountain Charley’s room at 15 N. Santa Cruz Ave. is established be remodeled into The Haunted Bar, where by friends can arrive for meal theater, unique film screenings, get-togethers and a lot more.
For Friedman, this is like coming property. “Literally, I grew up in Los Gatos and Saratoga,” he says. “I played soccer for Saratoga High, and we performed our online games at Los Gatos High.”
Friedman and Hult satisfied when Friedman helped set on the Grand Opening party for the new outdoor patio for Hult’s in 2015. When Hult advised him Mountain Charley’s was for sale, Friedman says, “I nearly jumped at the concept. Mountain Charley’s is really nostalgic for me.”
Friedman commenced his career as “DJ Donovan” in San Francisco in 2001. Until 2014, he discovered himself placing on functions and style demonstrates at various venues in the city, such as a cafe in Ghirardelli Sq. that utilized to be owned by Cheech Marin and Don Johnson.
As he acquired more mature, he resolved that the late-night time bar scene wasn’t keeping as a great deal enchantment. “I wished to go out with my close friends, but favored to do it in excess of dinner and drinks,” Friedman claims. “I also genuinely preferred the plan of themed experiences.”
His popularity as a get together planner grew. He created ThemeDream Productions, and little by little transitioned from holding invitation-only get-togethers at huge venues to accomplishing themed events for Halloween and New Year’s Eve.
His to start with huge productive concept meal a Parisian-model cabaret for Valentine’s Day in 2015, which marketed out instantly. This was adopted by The Haunted Supper, staged in Oct of that calendar year at the historical Payne Mansion in San Francisco.
In 2019, ThemeDream Productions was employed by Winchester Thriller Property to redesign their Halloween attraction, which was referred to as “Unhinged.” Palace of Wonderful Arts hired ThemeDream Productions to create a 4,000-person fairytale New Year’s Eve gala called “Imagine” in 2017.
One of the aspects of the new collaboration with Hult is that Friedman gets to place a whole lot of men and women to get the job done soon after they’ve been sidelined for the previous 18 to 19 months. He’ll be employing planners, fabricators, set designers and builders, writers, actors, singers, dancers, directors, costume makers, videographers, graphic designers, and lights and audio specialists.
“It feels wonderful to be calling persons and telling them I’ve bought do the job for them,” Friedman suggests. “And not just for a number of times, but continual do the job.”
When asked about the food stuff and beverage company, which is his bailiwick, Hult claimed he hadn’t labored out the aspects still, but additional, “We hope to have a wide range of meals from area Los Gatos downtown places to eat.”
Friedman imagines that there will be as many evening meal reveals through the week as there is desire, and then the position can be rented out for private events, using advantage of the immersive decor.
“We will continue to have late night DJs and dancing,” he says. “We haven’t deserted the nightlife component of the area that Charley’s was acknowledged for.”
Friedman also wishes to cater to the underneath-21 crowd. He envisions possessing families arrive in for movie matinees on weekends and “family-friendly” variations of his dwell dinner displays at lunchtime.
“We’ll do New Year’s Eve for positive, and then it’s possible ‘Alice in Wonderland,’” he suggests. “I’m seeking forward to entertaining my friends’ youngsters.”