Talking tiki with Psycho Suzis owner Leslie Bock

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November 5, 2010
By: Gregory J. Scott
Gregory J. Scott
Moments after we posted our Psycho Suzi’s update, owner Leslie Bock emailed us with a few more details about her new “Tiki Taj Mahal,” including her plans to still sell the current location and the odds of her squeezing in a nap while running three area businesses.

Here’s our Q-and-A:

You mentioned the drainage system. And we've all heard about a beefed up patio. Are there any other big structural changes you're making to the old Gabby’s? How sweeping has the makeover been?

Lots of unglamorous and boring work has been done that customers will not likely notice, like an interior sprinkler system. I would say there is a big transformation of the sports bar into a new retro/semi-Polynesian style restaurant with a larger kitchen and an indoor/outdoor bar opening out to the river. 75 percent of the first floor has been gutted/altered. Upstairs was redecorated only, but has been visually transformed into a tiki Shangri-La. Many items have been recycled. It's been a giant arts and crafts project utilizing a lot of local artists/craftspeople. The patio will be completely different than it was before and will be triple the size of the former Gabby's patio.

So, selling the current location is still a possibility? Have you had some interest?

I am planning on selling the current location. There has been quite a bit of interest in it. At this point in my life, I think trying to open and operate the Tiki Taj Mahal, as well as maintain Saint Sabrina's and Donny Dirk's will be enough work right now. I don't have partners, so it's a one-woman show. I would rather sell the old location, so I increase my chances of getting a nap.

Is the staff from the current spot coming with you? Anything you can divulge about the new menu or drink offerings?

All the staff is coming to the new location plus about 40 new people, many of who are from the neighborhood and will be able to walk and/or ride their bikes to work. We've added items to our menu, including burgers and new funny drinks. We've also increased our tap beer to 12 options, plus an additional five taps of different beers in the cocktail lounge.

How are you feeling about the Nov. 22 target date?

Addressing the storm water has been the biggest delay. We now plan to be open before the patio will be completely done (which is not our first choice, but hey, it's practically winter) so customers will see somewhat of a work in progress. That's the way the tiki tumbles, I guess. And yes, you can say we are expecting to be open Monday, November 22.