January 29, 1993 / LISA KLUG / TIMES STAFF WRITER
'Magician Windows' to Do a Disappearing Act : Art: The former Merlin McFly's singles bar is being remodeled, and for $325,000, the nine glimmering stained glass creations can be yours.
Michael Leeds remembers vividly the excitement he felt 15 years ago when he and three other artists worked day and night at the Bonny Doon Studio in the Santa Cruz Mountains, piecing together a glimmering series of stained glass windows that would adorn a restaurant on Santa Monica's Main Street known as Merlin McFly's.
"We were sort of eating, breathing and living this creative adventure," Leeds recalled. "We caught the crest of the wave of art glass awareness."
The result of more than two years' work was the "Magician Windows," nine intricate depictions of Merlin, Aladdin, Houdini and other famous names from the history and mythology of magic and sorcery. Merlin McFly's, conceived as a magnet for Westside singles, soon also began drawing stained glass enthusiasts from throughout the country.
But the windows have outlived McFly's. Once part of a thriving statewide chain, the Santa Monica McFly's closed last year--a victim, like many singles bars in recent years, of AIDS, the recession and stiffer drunk-driving laws. On the first of the year, Main Street businessman Theodore Lonsway took over the lease.