Mike's Place

Mike's Place

Mike's Place is the shared name of two bars in Israel that are popular with expats, and before the rise of the second intifada, frequented by people of all religions and ethnicities, as well. The first branch was opened in downtown Jerusalem by Mike Vigodda, a retired photojournalist, in 1993. In 1995, it was handed over to Assaf Ganzman, an Israeli blues musician, when Vigodda returned to Canada.

In 1999, the bar moved to Jerusalem's Russian Compound and in 2005 to Jaffa Road. In 2001, a second location was opened in Tel Aviv, next to the American Embassy by Ganzman's brother, Gal.

At 12:45am on April 30, 2003, a suicide bomber approached Mike's Place in Tel Aviv and blew himself up at the entrance to the bar - killing Dominique Hass, 29, Ran Baron, 23, and Yanai Weiss, 46, and wounding over 50. One of the wounded was security guard Avi Tabib, who blocked the bomber, preventing him from entering the bar and causing further fatalities.cite web |url=http://www.jewishsf.com/content/2-0-/module/displaystory/story_id/20891/edition_id/429/format/html/displaystory.html |title=Tel Aviv bar and bomb target slowly getting its groove back |last=Khazzoom |first=Loolwa |work=jewishsf.com|date=2003-09-29 |accessdate=2008-01-14]

An International Solidarity Movement volunteer subsequently reported that the bombers had been among a group of 'alternative tourists' who were offered tea when they paid an unscheduled visit to an ISM office on the way to a memorial for Rachel Corrie.cite web |url=http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=293354 |title=MKs in a huff over ISM peace activists |last=Alon |first=Gideon |work=Ha'aretz |date=2003-05-15 |accessdate=2008-01-14]

Despite the events of that day, the bar reopened on Yom Haatzmaut, Israeli Independence Day.cite web |url=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=980DEED71F3CF93BA35756C0A9659C8B63|title=Tel Aviv Journal; Shunning Tragedy, Filmmaker Is Caught in One |last=Myre |first=Greg |work=New York Times |date=2003-05-08 |accessdate=2008-04-18]

A documentary called "Blues by the Beach", about the Tel Aviv Mike's Place, the suicide attack at the bar, and the people affected by it, was directed by American-Israeli filmmaker Joshua Faudem and produced by Jack Baxter/Fran Strauss-Baxter.cite web |url=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=980DEED71F3CF93BA35756C0A9659C8B63|title=Tel Aviv Journal; Shunning Tragedy, Filmmaker Is Caught in One|last=Myre |first=Greg |work=New York Times |date=2003-05-08 |accessdate=2008-04-18]

Cultural references

The Jerusalem location is central to the plot of the film ""The Holy Land," about a wayward yeshiva student. The film's director, Eitan Gorlin, worked at the bar in the late 90's.cite web |url=http://dir.salon.com/story/ent/movies/int/2003/07/22/holy_land/ |title=Rebel from the yeshiva |last=Hansen |first=Suzy |work=salon.com |date=2003-07-22 |accessdate=2008-01-14]


External links

* [http://www.mikesplacebars.com/ Mike's Place web site]
* [http://www.bluesbythebeachfilm.com/ "Blues by the Beach"]

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