Thursday, January 17, 2019

Two new bars coming to downtown Springs

Posted By on Thu, Jan 17, 2019 at 4:22 PM

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As mentioned in our review of Cork & Cask, local restaurateur Joseph Campana has more bar and restaurant concepts set to open in the downtown area in the near future. Coming soonest, Springs drinkers can look forward to Shame & Regret opening in the former 15C's alleway spot at 15 C East Bijou St.. Campana co-owns the spot, 51 to 49 percent, with Matt Baumgartner, who’s been the general manager at the Campana-owned Rabbit Hole for the last five years. Campana says he’s had his eyes on the spot for years now, and he and Baumgartner plan to overhaul the space in a big way. Perhaps the biggest change: it’ll no longer be a smoker-friendly venue.

“95% of people don’t smoke,” says Campana, “and a lot of people would come in here and [say] the place stinks like cigars... They just don’t want to deal with it.”

While some smokers will resent the change, the duo think they’ll do better business overall, citing their shared past at Phantom Canyon Brewing Company as evidence. Campana recalls that when the long-standing brewery prohibited smoking in their upstairs pool hall, business went up — by his estimations, as much as 80 percent — as people could now hang around and eat or enjoy a game without reeking of tobacco. Further, they’re ditching the “mysterious door in an alley” ethos for a storefront with actual windows and natural lighting.

“We want to open up the whole alleyway so people can see it,” Campana says.

They’re working with Katie Toth, an alumna of the Principal’s Office, the Rabbit Hole and Moxie, to build a cocktail program that will feature a mix of prohibition-era classics and modern craft options. Campana’s corporate chef, Josh Kelly, will design a small menu of smaller plates — Campana suggests we might see shrimp cocktail and beef tartare, as well as ‘40s and ‘50s-style bar bites. They hope to open the spot in mid-February.

Following that, Campana’s got a tiki bar and Hawaiian-style poké joint in the works. He and Supernova general manager Audriana Sutherland, again splitting that 51-49 ownership model, will open Kanaloa (333 N. Tejon St.) in the former Paloma Salon and Micro Spa later in 2019 — Campana’s hoping for a March or April opening, while Sutherland says she anticipates things taking until May or June.

Sutherland says Kanaloa started with the bar, a lighted jade green granite bar-top that caught her and Campana’s eyes. From there, Sutherland came up with the idea for a rum-centric menu of tiki drinks, typically brightly colored for a visual pop to match the planned vibe.

“At first we were looking to do more of a Japanese-style [menu],” Sutherland says, but after seeing pictures of traditional Hawaiian raw fish bowls, she fell in love. Sutherland will act as general manager and will plan the cocktail program, while Kelly will design the menu.

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