Last fall, I reported on the V Bar
's move to rebrand as 1806 Craft Bar
, a program piloted by then-bartender Adam Gasper, who said that he wanted "to change the scene of cocktails in the Springs."
At last year's Pikes Peak Food & Wine Expo — which incidentally returns this Sunday
— Gasper beat a batch of the Springs' bartenders to win the Best Overall Bartender Award.
Back at work, he had gone as far to post a sign inside that read: "Fuck your simple drink," and he would deny guests their basic booze favorites by challenging them to tell him their least favorite spirit — then he'd make a drink with that to show off how a properly balanced drink can make any spirit palatable.
It appears guests, by their waning attendance, sent a return message: "Fuck your complicated cocktail."
New co-manager Stephen Ferguson contacted the Indy
to say that there's a new management team in place as of a month ago, and Gasper is no longer part of the picture. The name 1806 has also been ditched, so the V Bar's back to just being called V Bar; still owned by the same hands that run Club Q
Ferguson, reinforcing what Q's Nic Grzecka told me back in 2014, says "we are a gay-friendly bar, but we don't want to limit ourselves ... we feel like the gay community is aware of us, but I'm more focused on the straight community, and we'd rather engage the entire community."
Grzecka had put it this way: "We don't care if it is known as a gay bar or not. V Bar has for a decade been a straight bar with a lot of gay people in it, and now it's a gay bar with a lot of straight people in it."
Another community Ferguson says he wants to target specifically is the arts community, though, by bring back art exhibits, live music performances and community events such as Word Wednesdays, "to engage the downtown crowds more."
In regards to how the drink offerings will change, he says "we still maintain the ability to do craft cocktails — we still carry higher-end liquor — but we aren't branding ourselves as a craft bar."
At 1806, he says it just wasn't working to tell customers that they couldn't have a rum and Coke or gin and tonic.
"We stand by giving customers what they want," at the new V Bar, he says. "Even if it isn't my preferred drink, I'd never tell someone they couldn't have it."
Simply put, he says the 1806 craft concept "just wasn't working."
No doubt, this type of cocktail service impresses. But V Bar is looking to simplify selections again.