What’s in a name? Often not a lot, when you consider most of the bars in our downtown core. Change the name, yet everything else stays the same, right down to the top 40 playlist. For those of you that are sick of the scene, I dare you to check out Villains Beastro.
Located at 256 Pelissier, right down our very own indie corridor, hides a place with great character. Most importantly, there’s always something happening at Villains – concerts, karaoke and annual celebrations like “May the 4th Be With You.” Owner Geoff Zanetti wanted to create a place where all are welcome, catering to the rock and rollers, stoners, and dance club outcasts.
I’ve come to realize that Villains just might be the most underrated gathering place in our downtown core. Hospitable staff, a humble owner, excellent paninis and a clever atmosphere that reminds me of a medieval dungeon, minus the feudal aroma. Chandeliers of all different eras fill the ceiling. The walls are graced with 104 original drawings of famous villains including the Joker, Cruella DeVille and the Grinch. Each of these unique pieces of art, along with maps of real and fictional worlds were designed by artist, Dave Houle, who also does all of the promotional posters for the Beastro.
The menu offered at this brilliant little haunt is based off of my all-time favourite – the panini. A sandwich made with love is the key to my heart, and if you decide to grill that sandwich, I’m in heaven. Delectable grinders with clever names are broken down into categories of chicken, beef, pork, vegetarian ($8.50) and dessert paninis($5.50). Villains also offers a few starters and salads – their caesar is among my top three of all time (the crispy onions do wonders). I might add that “pizza the hut” and the “chicken parmageddon” come with Nonna’s marinara (which I tend to order a side of, and put on everything) that Zanetti assures me is in fact his Nonna’s recipe.
When visiting Villains, I suggest you sit at the bar- stained glass and wonderfully detailed crown molding keep the medieval feel, and tea-lights lit in fancy glass bulbs create a warm invitation. You’ll sense Zanetti’s comical side with the Darth Vader and Batman masks that act as makeshift mascots wearing Villains t-shirts. Vader also greets you on the tap that pours Steam Whistle, Steigl, Shock Top and Waterloo dark (Somersby is also on tap). If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, there’s great selection of bottles and cans for both imports and domestics. Zanetti informs me in the near future we will be seeing additional taps introduced to the Beastro, and he’s confident it’s not something you can find elsewhere in town.
Ultimately, this place is nothing short of awesome. What other bar hosts annual events such as Oktoberfest (super-legit), Christmas in Hawaii, and ZombieCon? Let’s not forget their yearly participation in Famfest. This past month Villains celebrated two years of being in the bar business. “It’s been good and we’re trying to do something different. We have a niche clientele that we try to have fun with. It’s nice to be a part of (downtown) for two years and if we can keep doing weird-stupid-silly stuff and still be accepted, then we’re living the dream”.
All I have to say is, “Cheers to you Geoff!! You F*%#ing rock dude!”
Come check out Villains 7 days a week 11am-2pm
256 Pelissier Ave
Every Sunday: S.U.C.K. (Super Ultimate Championship Karaoke)
Every Monday: the MondayMen (live jazz)
Every Tuesday: V.O.M.I.T. (Villains Open Mic Instrumental Talent)
Every Wednesday: P.U.K.E. (People Using Karaoke Equipment)
Be sure to check out monthly events including Comedy Night Live, S.N.O.T. (Spectacular Night of Trivia), B.A.R.F. (board games are really fun), drink & draw and the Rock&Roll Barber.
By: Nikki Antic