Moe Joe’s the next one?
Four friends start a nightclub
By Paul Andrew
There might be a good reason the owner of Whistler’s newest nightclub is brimming with confidence just days away from the opening of his latest purchase — his fourth in four years.
Joel Springman has teamed up with Andy Flynn, former manager of Garfinkel’s Pub in Village North, to open Moe Joe’s, a nightclub in Whistler Village. The gleam in Flynn’s eyes earlier this week was enough to let anyone who was looking realize Flynn’s enthusiasm matches Springman’s easy confidence. It’s almost as if these men, along with Stuart Need and Alicia Niederiaufner, know something that only a select few know. Perhaps it’s the secret to success.
Regardless, the foursome has supervised a construction team at the old Capone’s/Rogue Wolf/Peter’s Underground location for the last three and-a-half months. Add in some $300,000 in renovations, and the club is unrecognizable from its former self. The much anticipated opening was scheduled for Wednesday or Thursday of this week.
"We don’t expect to capture every night of the week, that would be impossible," Springman said. "But we are going after a consistent level of attendance. And we’re certainly not going after the 19-25-year-old crowd. It will be the 25 year olds and up."
Not long ago, Capone’s nightclub tried to succeed where the Rogue Wolf failed. So why does Springman feel Moe Joe’s will succeed?
"We’ve been doing this for years," he answered. "Every club we’ve opened has been successful. Garf’s in Telluride; One Eyed Jacks in Florida. Andy’s been with Garfinkel’s in Whistler for a long time... I think you have to have funky atmosphere with good music where you can go to meet friends for a drink."
The funky atmosphere Springman refers to is the modern, almost gentrified look of Moe Joe’s. When it was mentioned to Flynn that Moe Joe’s looked something like a mini Garfinkel’s, he laughed and shrugged his shoulders. "We were all at one time involved with Garf’s," he said.
Springman, 39, is the sole owner of Moe Joe’s, which he says is named after Flynn’s Siamese Twin uncles. But sooner or later, Springman says he’s willing to let the three become partners in the club through "sweat equity." Most are capable of running a club on their own, he said. But the team is an unbeatable combination.
"I put in the initial $300,000 — not including the purchase price. But we’ve all got our strengths: Mine is getting it bought; Alicia is strong behind the scenes; Andy and Stu are strong up front and they are the nicest guys... I think any of these guys can run a bar on their own."
Springman plans to bring in a blues band once or twice a week to play on the new low-rising, semi-circular hardwood stage, but his expectations for the club are modest. He’s added a long rectangular bar, accessible from all sides, and the decor is a compilation of "a lot of different international bars" and a few purchases over the internet.
The foursome who met in Europe 11 years ago and vowed to one day start a business in Whistler.
"I think, compared to a place like Vail, where it’s really pretentious, Whistler is down to earth," Springman said. "We knew we would come back here one day and start a business. We just all seemed to come together at the same time."