Pull up a barstool and meet the McColgan brothers, the team behind some of your favorite South Bay watering holes.
- Written byDiane E.
When Scott McColgan and Shane McColgan moved to California from Massachusetts, becoming successful restaurateurs never crossed their minds. They were in their early 20s and landed in the South Bay during the free-spirited ‘80s. Scott had a degree in landscape architecture with golf course experience, and Shane had a business management degree.
“I wanted to leave the weather in New England and go to Florida or California. Shane told me, ‘If you go to California, I’ll go with you,’” recalls Scott.
As with all McColgan life events, the relocation plans became a family affair. Their Irish father, Mickey (an iron worker by trade), refurbished the interior of an old van they bought for $500, and their Greek mother, Angela, filled a cooler with food before the two brothers headed for the Golden State.
Scott went to work at Los Verdes Golf Course, and Shane had various jobs before his fitness passion led him to open Iron Works (now The Yard) in Hermosa Beach. Prior to the gym doors opening in 1987, Mickey made the first of many drives from the East Coast with his tools in his truck to lend his sons a hand.
Scott, also a boxing enthusi-ast and trainer, started Boxing Works in Hermosa Beach in 1993, which he managed in tandem with his golf course job. That same year, Shane followed in their grandfather’s and uncles’ footsteps, and the local McColgan restaurant legacy continued.
“I worked part-time at our family’s Greek restaurant, which inspired me. And I played pool for money when I was a kid, so when I opened Sharks Cove in Hermosa I added pool tables in the bar,” says Shane. “After I got a permit for a full kitchen, my mom (who is our biggest food critic) sampled recipes with customers for the menu.”
The McColgans’ zealous entrepreneurial spirits did not stop there. In the mid-‘90s their parents relocated to help them chase bigger dreams.
In 1996 they signed a lease for a restaurant on the corner of Pier Avenue and Hermosa Avenue, Scott quit the golf industry, and the sushi-loving brothers recruited some of the best sushi chefs in LA to open Club Sushi (now ROK Sushi).
In 1997 they tackled more uncharted waters and opened Pointe 705 on Pier Avenue—an immense restaurant and jazz club that offered French cuisine. In response to an economic downturn, they wisely transitioned Pointe 705 into what they knew best: sushi and rock music.
As their success peaked, they did not lose sight of the importance of family life (they have eight kids between them) and strategic business timing. In 2002 they downsized and sold Club Sushi and Pointe 705. They opened another Sharks Cove in Manhattan Beach the following year and recently closed the original one.
Today the family affair continues with some of their children helping at the newest restaurants, which include The Crest in Torrance, Kings Cove at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo (operated by Scott’s wife, Melinda) and Mickey McColgan’s in Hermosa Beach—an Irish gastropub that honors their late father who tirelessly helped build their businesses before he passed away in 2012.
We can choose our friends, but we can’t choose our family, as the old adage goes. Gratefully I would pick mine 100 times over, including my McColgan in-laws. When my sister, Melinda, married Scott, I held onto my hat for the inevitable ride ahead.
Almost everything that the “don’t mess with us” McColgans do is big, loud and sometimes hovers over reckless abandon. But under their gritty, tough demeanors are kind hearts that are grounded in family loyalty, passion and a love of our South Bay that they proudly call home.
Godspeed, Mickey. You are missed.