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Matty’s, the little neighborhood bar that opened in the shopping center across from Rosie’s, has grown into a major bar in Wilton Manors. What started out as a one room bar has expanded greatly with pool tables, a VJ Booth, a stage, and a second room with a large bar.

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Matty’s, the little neighborhood bar that opened in the shopping center across from Rosie’s, has grown into a major bar in Wilton Manors. What started out as a one room bar has expanded greatly with pool tables, a VJ Booth, a stage, and a second room with a large bar.

mattys-3rd-anniversary-weekend-2Matty’s is, in fact, still growing — it is about to triple its original size by opening a third room which will be a restaurant. On the eve of their third anniversary, I had the pleasure to sit down with owner Matty for a Hotspots exclusive interview.

HOTSPOTS MAGAZINE: How did Matty’s come about?

Matty: George Kessinger, who I worked for, for many years, gave me the idea to open my own small bar and call it Matty’s (that was his name for me). My good friend Eddie (General Manager of Georgie’s St. Pete) had offered to be my partner. At the time George heard that Smarty Pants was up for sale and we took a look at it, but that deal didn’t work out. We then looked at the old Everglades and there were some issues with parking that we couldn’t work out so we passed. At this point Eddie and I had gotten the bug and really wanted to make this bar happen. When we found this location that we are in, it was an empty concrete mess, but we couldn’t believe we found a place on The Drive and we had the vision. My brother built the entire bar.

mattys-3rd-anniversary-weekend-3What was your goal in building the bar?

I wanted a nice little neighborhood bar, a friendly place where I could make a decent living and enjoy working.

When did you realize that Matty’s was a success?

When the second bay became available in our second year I decided that the “Little Neighborhood Bar” became a hot spot and I needed more space. Taking over that space has doubled my business.

What made you decide to open a restaurant in Matty’s?

mattys-3rd-anniversary-weekend-4I learned a lot opening the restaurant Azul in Palm Springs and Eddie also has a lot of experience as Alibi St. Pete has a restaurant, so we used our combined knowledge to our benefit. I knew that the Matty’s puzzle wasn’t going to be completed until I served food. The restaurant which is planned to open in the next few weeks will feature a deli section, a burger section and the first raw bar section on the drive.

Matty’s is doing really well, but Wednesdays is your week night that is most packed. How did this come about?

I think I picked the right day as I believed that Hump Day is the day that people start partying for the weekend and I made it worth it for people to come out. The reason I charge $.75 for drinks is to give exposure to the bar and to have people come back on the weekends. The night has exploded way more than my expectations.

mattys-3rd-anniversary-weekend-5What are your plans for your 3rd anniversary?

We will be celebrating the anniversary all weekend long from Friday, August 19 culminating on Monday, August 22nd. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday every time you buy a drink you will receive a ticket and each night one person will win a $200 bar and food tab. On Monday the person will win a $500 bar and food tab. In addition, on Monday the 12 winners of the calendar search will come back to compete on who will be the cover model. With 12 hot guys, that night should be out of control!

What’s ahead for Matty’s?

mattys-3rd-anniversary-weekend-6Once the restaurant opens I think my plans are complete other then some simple projects that I think my customers will appreciate.

However, I am definitely exploring the options of expanding into other parts of Florida. I want to give a quick shout out to the Matty’s Marauders who are going back to the gay World Series again this year after winning the series last year. They make us proud! I would like to thank the entire community for making Matty’s such a huge success.

Matty’s 3 year anniversary celebration weekend takes place Friday, August 19th culminating on Monday, August 22nd.

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