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Cool Actor builds and opens bar in Brooklyn

on 22/07/11 at 5:49 pm

Booze News
Actor Anthony Mackie talks about building his new bar and explains why he isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty “just because I’m in a movie now and then.”
Most people know Anthony Mackie from his roles in The Adjustment Bureau or The Hurt Locker and Brooklynites are now getting to know him as the man behind new Bed-Stuy bar NoBar. But this isn’t just any celebrity-turned-nightlife-impresario. Not only will you find Anthony behind the bar most nights, you’ll find that he built the bar. And the bar back. And oh yes, the floors. And did we mention this man is not afraid to snake a toilet? Read on to see how he stayed on budget thanks to eBay, why (he says) women aren’t impressed with his handy skills and his feelings on mass-market furniture in our exclusive Q&A. 

ShelterPop: Let’s start from the beginning. How did you get started in carpentry?
Anthony Mackie: My dad was a carpenter and a roofer, and every summer he would make his sons work with him — I did it for three years. I have a lots of carpenters and contractors in my family so that’s how I got the bug. There’s just something remarkable about taking a piece of wood and making it into something. It’s gratifying, really fulfilling. Anybody can buy a $2,500 designer table but not everybody can make one. When I was in college I couldn’t really afford furniture so my internship boss — the head of the foremen at Julliard — let me use all his saws and tools so I could make my own furniture.

Do you still have any of it?
You know what, I don’t. This is not a testament to my work but it all fell apart. But that was a long time ago. It did last more than ten years.

Fair enough. Now, at NoBar, you’ve built everything but the chairs. Can you elaborate?
I built the bar, the bar back, the footrest, all of the tables and I made some of the frames for the artwork. I also re-framed the entire place and taped and floated all the sheetrock. In a few places, the wood on the floor was kind of destroyed, so I got 1×4’s and tongue-and-grooved them.

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