Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Christian-owned Martin’s Bar replaces The Cellar in Old Town Clovis

WORD MARTINS BARMartin’s Bar opened last week in Old Town Clovis, taking over the space once occupied by The Cellar. The owners of Martin’s Bar put a lot of work into the building, at 446 N. Clovis Ave., between Fourth and Fifth streets. They added six big-screen TVs, a pool table, and new lighting for a stage for live music from singer-songwriter types. You can read my colleague Tim Sheehan’s piece about the bar that ran in Monday’s Word on the Street section here.

This bar is interesting for two reasons.

First, it’s been said that its predecessor, The Cellar, was a bit rough, shall we say? As one Yelp reviewer put it, “Is it just me, or does this place attract ghetto scums?”

New owners Risé and Mark Martin are hoping to change that, and want to create a “comfortable place with nightly entertainment for a more mature crowd.”

Second, the Martins also own the Heaven’s Gate Christian Book Store nearby on Clovis Avenue. Now, it’s not every day you hear of Christian bookstore owners opening a bar. But that doesn’t faze the Martins. From Tim’s piece:

Mark Martin said there’s no particular inconsistency, however, between operating a Christian bookstore and a bar. “Jesus turned water into wine, and there was wine at the Last Supper,” Martin said. “Drinking is not a sin; drinking to excess is.”
“We’re here to make sure people don’t abuse it,” he added. “If someone gets to a certain point, we’ll offer a cup of coffee on the house and just chat for a while until they’re ready to drive home.”

Responses to "Christian-owned Martin’s Bar replaces The Cellar in Old Town Clovis"

Lisa says:

I might have to give this place a try. The few times I’ve tried a bar/club I quickly realized it wasn’t for me by the atmosphere. Maybe this will be different.

Marlene says:

Cracks me up…they are going to provide coffee and “chat” until the drunk is ready to leave? The atmosphere on weekends is just like any bar packed with 20 “somethings.” Meat market, drunk people everywhere…and dirty looks from the staff if you aren’t ordering alcohol. I get’s a bar, but come on…get real.

Steve says:

Exactly…I don’t really get how he can say, “…drinking is not a sin, drinking to excess is” while opening a bar/nightclub that provides the perfect atmosphere for drinking to excess..and if the customers want to keep drinking and the bartenders wont serve them they’re just going to take their business to the Old Town Saloon. And seriously? A bar with christian values? How long is that gonna last?

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