This is Hangover Observations, where we reflect on last night, the night that was.
After being shuttered in a state of disrepair for over a year, the Owl Tree made its comeback last night. We stopped by the scene, and as is the case with most bars and restaurant on opening night, it was all-around feel-good affair. Here, then, are a few observations:
1) Let's get this out of the way: C. Bobby's Owl Tree, this is not. The layout is similar, owls are scattered about, some of the old soul surely remains, but for most intents and purposes, for better and worse, it's a different bar.
2) The Crowd: a mishmash of older holdovers and young people possibly en route from work to the Marina. Lots of locals who seem to be pleased with the arrival/return. Everyone celebrating.
3) Things you would not have seen before (the C. Bobby constituent may want to shield their eyes): a bottle of St. Germaine next to a bottle of absinthe, "Reserved" placards on leather booths, lots of bartender cleavage, HD TV, a little velvet rope outside.
4) Things you would not have heard before: "What kind of white wine would you like?"
5) Conclusion: we understand—and to a point, agree with—the complaints put forth by fans of the old OT who wanted a replica rather a reinterpretation. After all, some owl insignia aside, this new version is probably more reminiscent of its new sis Harry's on FIllmore. But at the same time, let's all remember that until the new regime took over, the Owl Tree was in no way making a comeback of any sorts. Now it's open, and will take on a new shape, its own shape. All in all, the kitsch factor may be zero, but it remains a comfortable space, with booze. And really, how bad can that be? (Be warned though: you may have to endure several sing-alongs to Journey and Sweet Caroline. Shudder.)
· All Your Owl Tree Business [~ESF~]