V Bar.jpgA mini makeover, the filming of a new TV series on Saturday and a change of name herald a new beginning for the former South Park Bar & Grill, on the corner of South Park St and Church St, now reincarnated as the V Bar.
Manager and operator Jeff Melnikoff told Baristanet that the V stands for 10 different types of premium vodka, sourced from around the world, which will be the key feature of the refashioned martini bar and restaurant.
While the old South Park menus were still visible, they will make way for revamped bar and food menus. The interior has changed a little too – with new curtains and tablecloths and new lights, and a few members of South Park’s staff remain.
“We had our grand opening on Saturday and the pilot episode of a new reality show on Spike TV was filmed here,” said Melnikoff, who wasn’t able to provide details about the name of the show or what it will be about.
Stay tuned. In about a month, once they’re settled in, V Bar plans another reopening event.

Reuters editor, food blogger, photographer, diva of the domestic arts

21 replies on “South Park Bar & Grill Is Now the V (for Vodka) Bar”

  1. Anyone know if this is under new ownership?
    It would be incredibly great if this somehow turned into a cool hang with great food–South Park was a blight on both counts.
    I’m not encouraged by the fact their opening was filmed for Spike TV, but I’m gonna hold out hope since I work really near there. It would be swell to have a cool corner bar where I could numb my brain after an especially horrid day of work. 🙂

  2. Don’t have high hopes given how bad South Park has sucked in the past. Unless it has new owners, I think we can expect continued suckatude.

  3. It once was a cool place, going back to the mid 90’s, of course. The decor and food, for that timeframe, was adequate, along with decent service. I stopped going once the demographics, of this town, changed it. I’ll check it out again, but I’m not expecting a miraculous transformation. From what I’ve been seeing, in and around here, there’s been a lot of subgrade eateries opening, whose goal is to capture and alure the attention of the younger and inexperienced crowd, those who unwittingly accept this crap, as the new standard in dining. The “hey guys, no problem” mantra! You want to pay a premium price for fake atmosphere and food that tries to pass for gourmet, be my guest. A no-frills corner bar to hang out and not worry about being mugged, by would be predators afterwards, would be comforting.

  4. I was just there like 2 weeks ago and it was still a dump. Have they totally gutted the place and remodeled in such a short time, to deserve the martini bar title?? Because this place needs more than a new logo and some new chairs outside. It had turned into a major dive inside!!

  5. According to the notice they sent to the neighbors, the show will be called Bars on the Brink. It’s a Kitchen Nightmares rip-off.
    Also, 10 types of vodka isn’t alot of vodka. Any mid to high end bar would have that many. Think about it. Grey Goose, Smirnoff, Stoli, Ketel One, Absolut, Belvedere, Chopin… That’s seven already. If they had 2 dozen or so, that might be worth the name.
    And the revamped drink menu I saw barely used the vodkas.
    Most of the Kitchen Nightmare restaurants still go out of businees. A new menu and decor can’t cover for poor management. I forsee a liquor license will soon be up for sale.

  6. The place was actually pretty good (for food, service and environment) when it was The Bailey, and even better when it was J.B. Winberries. Maybe with new owners the place will live up to its potential. Still and all, I miss Gabe’s Galley, right next door through the 70’s and ’80’s.

  7. I worked at South Park in the fall of 2008 while I was attending MSU. I have worked in many bars/restaurants and dives over my college career, and never ever has one compared to the unsanitary, filthy and deplorable conditions of South Park. The entire place is infested with cockroaches. And I mean HUGE roaches. I have seen roaches in restaurants before, but these fatties were about the size of the bottom of a coffee mug. They were EVERYWHERE. Literally, they were falling out of the vents in the kitchen. One slow afternoon I was hanging in the kitchen when they cleaned the oil from the fryer, and found a rat in it. Who knows how long your French fries were being cooked in rat juice. Bacteria is EVERYWHERE there, I never saw any counters wiped down and the “employee hand wash stations” in the kitchen were completely broken. I am honestly SHOCKED that this place has not been shut down yet. I don’t trust the “new opening” and “remodel” at all. Unless, of course, its new owners.

  8. That place is the pits. The last time I went there, the glass my beer was served in smelled like it was washed in a urinal.

  9. I can’t understand why no one in Montclair will open a bar people that actually live in Montclair will want to go to.

  10. I know my son was not above hanging at some pretty dive bars in college, but when he’s home, he and his friends don’t ever go to S.Park – it’s below even their standards.

  11. I was there on Sunday to check it out. The new menu was underwhelming. We were also given the old menu which was covered in grease stains. We ordered sodas and left. The biggest difference between V Bar and S. Park was the smell. At least V had a bleachy aroma where S. Park smelled like dirty underwear.

  12. So now South Park is the V Bar. Talk about putting lipstick on a pig! I went there Saturday night with a date… don’t think she’ll be hooking up with me any time soon. They put some fresh paint on the walls with a few new fixtures and some curtains. It’s still South Park’s face with a few pimples covered over. And… it’s still the same owner… which means no changes to the food and service. Same as it ever was… horrible.

  13. Booooooo… Sorry to hear it won’t be undergoing the re-work that place so desperately needs.
    And I feel really left out that none of my posts were deleted for bad &*%^ing language. $^%#!!!!

  14. word on the street is that Egan’s bought South Park.. the new and improved “V Bar”……. so new owners = better food??

  15. Montclair has enough dive bars for college students (plus, the formula hasn’t been real successful, i.e. Rascal’s/Red Cheetah). How about a Palm steakhouse with a big bar for us professionals?

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