Plenty of musicians have parlayed their musical prowess into successful bars and restaurants. Hey, if the likes of Jay-Z and Jimmy Buffett can do it, why not…GWAR?
Yes, the idea that a thrash metal shock rock band with costumes, comedic underpinnings and little more than a cult following would want to get into the food service industry might seem like a bit of a logical leap, but regardless, the band has opened their own GWARbar in their hometown of Richmond, Virginia, this week.
According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the new spot is the “passion project” of Mike Derks (aka GWAR guitarist Balsac the Jaws of Death). “I wanted to do something where foodies would want to go but also something where everyone would want to eat,” he told the paper. “Somewhere you could go eat a Twinkie—but an upscale Twinkie.”
In true GWAR fashion, the entire menu—including the drinks list—fits that highbrow-meets-lowbrow ethos, featuring items like gourmet hotdogs and plenty of tiki drinks, all at relatively reasonable prices. Oh, and yes, house-made upscale Twinkies are also available.
Derks's promise of a place where “everyone would want to eat,” however, depends on whether you like fake blood splattered on your walls and floor. That’s part of the decor, built to look like “GWAR’s Antarctic stronghold,” the Washington Post reported during construction back in July. Still, you have to admire the group’s gumption. The idea has been incubating for years, and the band forged ahead even when an Indiegogo campaign from earlier this year fell way short of its $50,000 funding goal.
“My mother taught me the endless secrets of intergalactic cooking…And then I ate her,” the bar’s website proclaims. I’m guessing there are no white tablecloths.