Cafe Society

BaRed: The naked truth about a bar's name change

What's in a name? Plenty, if you're trying to plan a new bar -- and find that another bar project has claimed the same name. Cliff and Zachary Young, the father/son team opening a new watering hole at 437 West Colfax Avenue, right around the corner from CY Steak, which Cliff has run since October 2009, wanted to call their new place O Bar. But then they learned that Charlie Huang, owner of Little Ollie's in Cherry Creek, was also opening a new bar right next door to his Chinese restaurant, in the first home of Noodles & Co. The name? Obar.


See also: - Uh, oh: An O Bar for downtown...and an Obar for Cherry Creek? - Cliff Young adds a chef de cuisine -- and a weekly menu -- at CY Steak - Marco's Pizza (no, the other Marco's) has good service, but olives are the pits

Rather than risk confusion -- or worse -- the Youngs decided to rename their new place baRed, pronounced "Bar Red," a name they've just registered in all the proper places. The new moniker "references the beautiful red stone of the building and its many hues," explains Cliff Young. And it also references some of their plans for the spot.

Chef de cuisine Doug Mace, who's already created a new, "grassroots" menu for CY Steak featuring lighter fare and more local produce, is working up a small-plates menu for baRed, which by day will offer grab-and-go service for employees of nearby government and office buildings. And at night? It will have a "hot and sexy" environment, Cliff promises. "A couples' bar."

Both baRed and Obar are on track to open in September. (Initially, the Youngs planned to have their new bar open this spring -- as evidenced by the banner above that sports the old name.)

And the moniker mash-up could have been worse. Dave Query had plans to call Jax Fish House in LoDo "O-Bar" after its recent renovation was completed, but decided against it when he heard that another downtown O Bar was in the works.

Other restaurateurs just have to deal with double trouble. The area has two dueling Hideaway restaurants, one in Genesee, one in Westminster -- and both are forever fielding phone calls for the other.

Mark Dym opened his first Marco's Coal-Fired Pizzeria at 2129 Larimer Street long before Marco's Pizza, an Ohio-based chain, opened its first link in metro Denver. Today Dym has a second Marco's in Englewood, and there are now six Marco's Pizza stores in the area (including the Marco's Pizza at 2207 East Colfax Avenue that Jenn Wohletz reviewed last week for Jenn in Chains). None of the Marco's Pizza outposts serve pies that come close to matching the pizza Dym makes at his original location, which won our Best Pizza award in the Best of Denver 2013 -- but people still get confused...and wind up with far from the best pie in town. A version of this story originally appeared in Cafe Bites, our weekly newsletter dedicated to the Denver drinking and dining scene that arrives in electronic in-boxes every Wednesday afternoon. Find out how to sign up for Cafe Bites here.

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun