If you want to stand out in the bar and restaurant world, it helps to have a catchy name. The new owners of the space that most recently housed the Overland, at 1967 South Broadway, have chosen a name for their upcoming joint that certainly stands out: Three Denver bandmates hope to open the Brutal Poodle there this October.
Wes Moralez, Ryan Oakes and David "Yosh" Yoshikawa are all members of the band Son Survivor, and have been together for more than four years playing what Moralez calls "melodic metal or metalcore." But the singer is also a veteran of the service industry, having put in twenty years as a bartender, server and manager.
Moralez and his bandmates had been looking to open their own place for several months when they found out that the Overland was vacant, and they immediately knew it was the right location. The fact that the bar was previously owned by Nathaniel Rateliffe is only partly a coincidence. While Moralez says he's met Rateliffe, he was more closely acquainted with the Overland's other partners, Matty Clark and Josh Terry, who run the hi-dive farther north on Broadway. The music-scene connection helped the three new owners land the space.
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Back to that name: As Moralez explains it, he used to be in a band called Identity Pushers, and he and Oakes would fill time during rehearsals by giving children's songs and nursery rhymes the death-metal treatment. They joked that it would be great to record the songs under the name the Brutal Poodles, but the idea was set aside until it resurfaced as the moniker of the bar and grill.
Don't expect children's death metal at the Brutal Poodle, though. The plan instead is to offer "elevated bar food" for lunch and dinner in an environment where customers can bring their kids and enjoy a meal with their families. Live music won't be part of the program, but from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., "there will be music from the ’60s to the early 2000s — rock, hard rock, punk, metal," Moralez explains. "And after 10 p.m., we'll get more crazy and edgy."
The bandmembers are currently in the process of updating and cleaning up the space to give it a little more character and a little less grime. The sunken bar that's been in the space for years, even before it was Bushwackers Saloon (before the Overland moved in) will stay, though, keeping some of the South Broadway style that helped make the Overland our Best New Bar of last year.