VZD's is being "saved" again... or destroyed. I guess it's open to interpretation.
On Friday, The Oklahoman reported that Hipster Boo Boo's most recent husband, local chef Eric Smith, is taking over the historic, once popular and now maligned OKC bar, restaurant and live music venue VZD's. Smith is the owner of Sara Sara Cupcakes and former head chef for West, Urban Johnnie's and the now closed Pachinko Parlor.
The off-again-off-again-off-again reopening of VZD’s is over as new owners Nelson Bolen and chef Eric Smith today made public their purchase of the historic restaurant and bar.
In December, a few premature announcements were made about the sale of the concept formerly owned by Chad Bleakley. A new would-be owner even went to so far as to go on Facebook to announce a relaunch party that was never to be.
But just a few minutes ago I talked to one of the new owners, chef Eric Smith, who said the book end to the Western Avenue entertainment corridor will open in late March or early April with a blowout party, featuring live music and samples of the reimagined menu.
A reimagined menu? That's cool. I've heard some of the new items will include Hipster Tar Tar, Headdress Stew and Regret a la mode. All food items are garnished, but really more adorned with beautiful things.
In all honesty, a menu update really doesn't bother me too much. Smith isn't a bad chef. I actually enjoyed some of the food at West and occasionally Pachinko (Sara Sara is another story). Plus, before I was duped by that guy who was masquerading around town pretending to be the new owner of VZD's, I actually suggested some "pointers for the trust fund baby or local restaurant group that tries to salvage the place."
- Get away from the live music. VZD’s was great for lunch or happy hour, but once you saw some fledgling touring band from Omaha moving their amps on stage, it was time to get out.
- Update the menu… but keep the stuffed mushrooms
- Pay Taxes
Well, it looks like Eric Smith and his business partner are taking my suggestions a little too seriously. At least the first two.
Smith said the new incarnation will include gourmet interpretations of old-school cocktails made from scratch and a familiar menu with chef-driven touches.
“We’ll do a gourmet Sloppy Joe and stuff like that,” Smith said. “And we’ll have an organic and healthy portion of the menu to take care of the neighborhood regulars.”
Smith said he and Bolen want to maintain the spirit of VZD’s, which was known for decades as the vanguard for live music and crowd-pleasing foods and cocktails. But he is determined to elevate the quality of the dishes with premium ingredients and a chef’s creativity.
Part of the creativity will manifest itself in what Smith calls The Crown Room. Located in the adjacent space where VZD’s offered box breakfasts and lunches, the Crown Room essentially be a chef’s table where Smith will be allowed to treat guests to gustatory theatrics and feats of culinary derring-do.
The stage has been removed to add dining space, but live music isn’t over at VZD’s. Smith said for now he and his partner are concentrating on getting the space back into shape for diners and whipping the kitchen and Crown Room into shape for service.
Dude. I said get away from the live music, not remove the entire fucking stage! What are you doing? Although it could get annoying, the stage and live music is what made VZD's VZD's. What's next? Are you going to clean the bathrooms, ban your waitresses from having tattoos and face piercings, and not charge a $5 cover every night after 9:00pm??? You can't make it too inviting.
Of course, I'm fine with all those changes if Eric keeps around the stuffed mushrooms. Sadly, I'm not too optimistic. If anything, expect him to take mushrooms off the menu out of spite and replace them with truffle-glazed Kale chips. Just to rub it in, he'll probably name them after us.
Anyway, since they're turning VZD's into a new place, I'd suggest they change the name and let the VZD's we all sometimes loved and remembered die an honorable death. Don't ruin its legacy by making it a millennial hipster pit. Give it a new name that incorporates restaurant buzzwords like "public house," "tavern" and "artisan." Also, include a weird character, intentional misspelling or random reference to an object commonly found in the 19th century.
• Hipsterz Auger
• Dööché Tavern
• Boo Boo's Public House
Those are all great names. They can use them if they want.