Opinion » Shredder

He's just not that into you


It’s happened to us all. You think you’ve met Mr. Right, only to have him break your heart. I’ve been there, girl! Don’t worry! It gets easier. It really does.

Take Cal Poly, for instance. She was like a naïve freshman filly when big man on campus Al Moriarty came courting, throwing his letterman jacket over her quivering shoulders and pinning his name right on her Spanos Stadium scoreboard. 


“You belong to Moriarty Enterprises!” he declared. And then she found out he was a real louse! First he declared bankruptcy and then he was convicted of a felony for bilking his clients out of millions. And he seemed so … sweet and loveable! 

Now Cal Poly has to pay Moriarty’s victims $480,000—the estimated value of the billboard’s lifetime naming rights. Hey, girl, I know this great guy named Kelly Gearhart who would love to pin his name to your scoreboard … what’s that? He’s also in prison? Well, there must be another white collar criminal out there somewhere for you, Cal Poly. Keep trying! So many fish in the sea!

I think former SLO Brew owner Todd Newman though he’d met Prince Charming when he partnered up with Australian real estate developer Hamish Marshall, who promised to help Newman expand SLO Brew in a new Higuera Street location. I mean that accent? Crikey! To die for, am I right? So dreamy!

Newman and his better half Korie acquired the venerated venue about 10 years ago from original owners Mike and Becky Hoffman, who started SLO Brew in 1988. When they passed the baton to the Newmans, who also have deep local ties, the venerated microbrew and music venue felt like it was being passed to curators who understood its importance to the local community.

The Newmans had a vision of what SLO Brew could become, and they knew their Garden Street location days were numbered. The current building is owned by Marshall, who plans to redevelop the entire block and put up 93,425 square feet of commercial and residential space as well as a 64-room hotel, calling it Garden Street Terraces.

In a bid to keep SLO Brew’s legacy alive, the Newmans reluctantly partnered with Marshall on the building the Newmans owned at 736 Higuera St., where the new partners planned an expanded brewery and restaurant with creekside dining, a second floor nightclub, and a rooftop dining area. The plans looked spectacular!

After fighting back complaints from the NIMBY gadfly group and self-appointed fun police, Save Our Downtown, it appeared the project was going forward … until it fell apart and Marshall leveraged control of SLO Brew from the Newmans, forcing them to sell their share of the business and building.

SLO Brew is as local as it comes, or it was. Now it’s owned by an Australian real estate developer who doesn’t like or know much about beer and who doesn’t know anything about the local music scene. Even though he owned part of a nightclub (now all of it), Marshall rarely attended shows. In fact, to keep live music in SLO Brew, he contracted with Todd Newman to book acts through December. Marshall’s the guy who’s going to continue the SLO Brew legacy? Really?

The new SLO Brew is apparently moving forward, but only on the 6,500 square foot first floor of the new location (the current Garden Street venue is 9,000 square feet), and though Marshall assures the public the music will continue at the new SLO Brew, this Shredder has serious doubts that this parvenu will be able to sustain the quality of the operation. Marshall has neither the know-how nor the connections to operate a high quality music venue.

Instead of a larger second floor nightclub, the second floor will now contain the “SLO Brew Lofts,” upscale rentals that will share the “Carissa Club,” a common area rich assholes can hang out in and pat themselves on the back for being titans of the universe. Oh, and the top floor dining? Now a spot where the same assholes can smoke their cigars and gaze down at the peons.

Marshall’s main plan seems to be to exploit the SLO Brew name to sell bottled beer in stores. He just broke ground on The Rock, a brewery, restaurant, and events center near the airport.

To sell his ideas to the media and public, he’s hired Ann Flower Communications, a company out of Venice, Calif. So much for local? Might as well call it No Clue Brew.

“Love” was also in the air at the SLO County Jail, but I bet the unnamed Senior Correctional Deputy thought his relationship with inmate Montoya Nichols was going to move a lot slower when deputies came to escort Nichols to the shower. Instead, it was the deputy that needed a shower when Nichols reportedly flung a milk carton full of urine and “and other substances” on the deputy’s face and chest. 

What? No kiss first? Can’t we just hold hands for a while? Men! They’re the worst!


The Shredder might piss you off but never on you. Send ideas and comments to shredder@newtimesslo.com.


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