'V' for Voodoo, V Bar
Michael Paul Castrillo just became the third owner of V Bar (19 E. Kiowa St., vbarcs.com), having purchased it from West Side Tattoo owner Brian Moore, who bought it from Charles Lawson in 2010. Castrillo has worked for Moore for a year and a half and has a total of 27 years' bartending experience, despite not having drunk for over a decade and volunteering as an addiction counselor.
"I call that cognitive dissonance," jokes Castrillo, who calls himself "the world's only Voodoo Buddhist" and a musician passionate about his birthplace of New Orleans. When he hosts a grand re-dedication of V Bar next month, an eighth-generation Voodoo priestess will bless the bar.
As much as that is not your old V Bar, neither will be the NOLA-inspired drink selections, including 40 versions of a Hurricane, some made with newly acquired Colorado craft spirits. "It's all about customer service and connection," he says — and entertainment, which he wants to ramp back up with a new stage and a goal of being like "a mini version of the House of Blues."
2South Food + Wine Bar (2 S. 25th St., 2southwinebar.com) turns 2 in October, but it's already into its third chef. Opening man Tyler Peoples took off for the Warehouse in February 2013 (before jumping again to the Springs Rescue Mission), leaving Eric Bowen in charge up until a few weeks ago. Now, former Blue Star and Springs Orleans chef James Davis is running the show.
Owner Rod Quass says Davis is "refocusing" the eatery while it transitions to new menus, which will contain old favorites, but be more fluid and condensed to create room for daily specials, including "authentic Italian" wood-oven pizzas and flatbreads. Also look for sweet selections from Supansa Banker, who'll serve as Davis' executive sous and pastry chef. She came out of Pikes Peak Community College's culinary program and worked for outfits like Nosh and King's Deer Golf Club. Expect new lunch hours too.
Tony's new tune
A patient process has finally yielded a move across the street, to 326 N. Tejon St., for Tony's (tonysdowntownbar.com) owner Eel Anderson. Tony's had been at 311 N. Tejon for 15 years, but outgrew it long ago; in the former Compleat Games & Hobbies, Anderson's added 2,000 square feet, enabling more than doubled guest capacity, a stage, and front and rear patios.
That adds possibilities for hosting parties, fantasy footballers and perhaps a pool league. The back patio should open next week and 200 bits of memorabilia remain in need of wall hanging. By late August, a new menu should premiere with additions like broasted chicken (à la Johnny's Navajo Hogan) and new bottled and canned beers. A dozen tap brews are already flowing.