The official “changing of the guard” of Mulligan’s Food and Spirits in Marietta, GA took place on October 15. In typical biker fashion it was done, of course, as a party, and it turned out to be one hell of a party. The Re-Grand Opening event was to celebrate the changing of ownership from Liz and Ray Dunn to Joseph Martin.

The Dunn’s acquired Mulligan’s a little over five years ago after previous owner Mike Norman passed away. Known as a biker bar and for the cutting-edge sign out front, little was done to change that reputation. It’s a good thing. The regulars like it that way.

With the change of ownership came some new City and County regulations that required some changes within the bar. Most were in the kitchen with major commercial appliance upgrades. This was no problem for Joseph since he is a chef, who also owns AngelFire7 BBQ, and was planning menu changes anyway.

Aesthetically the most major change in the bar area is the addition of a new horizontal backlit Mulligan’s sign and two new TV’s. The whole place has a new coat of fresh green paint with brown trim. Missing are the deer heads and the mounted ducks. Apparently, those are a Romper Room no-no with the health department. The sad part of that is Mike Norman had shot those and placed them in the bar a couple decades ago. Some of the other memorabilia hasn’t been rehung yet, but the plan is to replace them after some other renovations are completed.

For those of you who really know the place; don’t worry, the burnout marks are still on the floor and the bullet holes are still in the ceiling and awning outside. The car and motorcycle tags are still there with most relocated to the patio.

Yes, it’s still Mulligan’s and the tone of the crowd for the party proved it. After being closed for about six weeks everyone was anxious to see all their friends as much as the renovations. Kind of funny considering most hang out at 3 or 4 different places only a few miles away.

A pre-Panama City Beach party had already been in the works, but once the sale took place it was put in overdrive. It turned into a “pre-PCB, changing of the guard, low county boil” party. One thing about the idea that didn’t change was the music.

For an event of this size one thing that is definitely needed is a separate stage. Oby Graham, DJs to Go, got the short-notice call and brought in his portable stage with full production. That kind of news is something the bands always want to hear. Oby always does a first-class job.

Kicking off the party was Marietta’s own The Fabulous Spankedelics. Fronted by the married duo of Steve Heffernan on guitar, and his wife Dot on vocals/ keys, they kind of became the house band for Mulligan’s this summer. They always entertain with a great mix of southern and classic rock.

The “changing of the guard” ceremony was bittersweet as Liz talked about how she loved the staff, the patrons and the bar. She then handed Joseph and very tall Gin and Tonic which he guzzled down. It was really a gracious display and tear laden moment.

Liz had been wanting NO SWEAT to play at Mulligan’s and it finally happened during her swan song event. This bunch of crazy rockers was perfect for a pre-PCB event since they typically play The LUCKY 13 for every rally. As always, they put on quite a show.

There may be a new guard taking over at Mulligan’s, but the spirit of what has always made this place work lives on. It is still first and foremost a biker bar. It will still be a place where military and first responders are revered. It will still be a place where the blue-collar guy, judges, attorneys, and executive types will sit side by side sharing a drink and sharing a laugh.

Check out their ad in this issue for all the great things coming up in November, and follow them on their Facebook page as well.

Article by Randy Snyder

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