Chris Hansen might be a billionaire, but he'll still have to start a tab.
"I know he'll be good for it, but we'll get a credit card up front," said Mick McHugh, the proprietor of F.X. McRory's Steak Chop and Oyster House in Seattle's Pioneer Square neighborhood.
Hansen, the man behind a proposed arena in the SoDo neighborhood, offered to buy the city of Seattle a round of beers at the pub Thursday night to celebrate a tentative agreement with the city council.
"As you have all read by now, we have reached an agreement with the City Council on the MOU. As I think you can all appreciate, this was a very difficult process and we really did our best to find a solution that addressed the needs of the City and County as well as the concerns of project opponents, while still making this a workable transaction from our perspective," Hansen wrote in a statement.
"And on that note, I would personally like to buy you all a beer at FX McRory's this Thursday from 5-7. First beer for everyone is on me. - Chris Hansen."
But before Hansen released the statement Tuesday morning, he called McHugh Monday night to make sure it was OK. McHugh has been a long-time supporter of Hansen, who worked as a dishwasher at one of his restaurants when he was 17.
"I can't tell you how cool I think this all is," McHugh said. "It's so Seattle."
Early Tuesday evening, McHugh was tied to the phone at F.X. McRory's, calling in reinforcements. The restaurant would need extra dishwashers, waitresses, bartenders and, of course, lots of beer.
McHugh alerted distributors for all 24 beers they have on tap: Alaskan Amber, Bass Pale Ale, Blue Moon Witbeer, Budweiser, Bud Light, Deschutes Black Butte Porter, Deschutes Mirror Pond Ale, Fat Tire Amber Ale, Fremont Universale Pale Ale, Guinness Stout, Hale's Supergoose IPA, Mac & Jack's Amber, Manny's Pale Ale; and the list goes on.
McHugh said Hansen's offer applies to their entire selection and patrons need only get a drink ticket at the door.
"I think it's going to be like St. Patrick's Day myself; I think it's going to be huge," said McHugh, who does not know how many people to expect.
The restaurant's capacity is 399.
"We're going to be stocked and ready at the 5 o'clock bell," he said. "I mean, people are going to have to be patient, but 7 o'clock is when he's going to cut the tab off, I'm sure."
McHugh said he is happy to help Hansen celebrate this milestone in the arena proposal, and said his restaurant will be available should Hansen ever get to celebrate the return of the Seattle SuperSonics.
"Yes, Chris. Yes sir! We'll be happy to. Just bring your American Express with you."