If you’ve been eagerly anticipating the opening of Bosscat Kitchen and Libations™ — the wait is almost over! Mark your calendar for early April . That’s right, soon you’ll be able to choose from over 300 whiskeys, a menu curated by the talented chef Peter Petro, and sit in, what can only be described as, a time capsule of Old Towne Orange’s charming past.
Something Old, Something New
When you walk into Bosscat, with just one quick look around, you’ll know that you are standing on a century of rich history. The front patio is large, but the original ceiling pulls at your gaze. It’s over 80 years old, but from its looks, it could have been installed yesterday! Centrally located are the old gas station pumps that have been refurbished. With just these two details, you can tell that this establishment tells a story—maybe one the locals have heard many times over, but definitely not one they’ve heard in this way.
You may know 118 W. Chapman Ave as home to Rod’s Liquor, which we said goodbye to early last year, but just like loved ones long gone, Rod’s is still very much present throughout Bosscat’s new space.
When John “JT” Reed and Leslie Nguyen, the owners of Bosscat, learned of the location’s history, they were adamant about weaving it into the future. At every turn, you’ll find stunning examples of repurposing, reclaiming, and story-telling in this striking venue. As you walk through the patio and garage-style doors upon entering the establishment just look to the right for a greeting from an old friend, Rod’s iconic icebox. Details of the past don’t stop there. A visual sweep of the place draws you to the neon sign over the bar: Rod’s. As if Mr. Fraser himself is keeping a watchful eye to make sure your drinks are poured with a perfect hand. Turning towards the bar and making a sharp left is where you’ll find the whiskey tasting room and Rod’s name, again. The original ceiling tiles, stained-glass windows and other unique antique elements make Bosscat’s mission in this space clear: to embrace the OTO community and its history while providing something new and exciting.
Good Drinks, Good Food, Good Vibes
It’s no secret that Old Towne Orange is home to so many great restaurants, bars, and cafes. So when JT and Leslie decided on their new Orange location, they knew that they were not coming to “change the food game.”
“The game has already changed. The food in the circle is already good,” said JT.
Instead, Bosscat had their eyes set on a completely different goal — to create a place that was more than just good food and good drinks. He wanted to create a place with good vibes, where people can gather for birthdays, anniversaries, first dates, engagements, and many night outs to come. As the years pass, people will say “remember that time at Bosscat?”
So the question comes… why Whiskey? The answer is simple. JT was into beer; Leslie preferred cocktails. Together, they made the perfect team so they met in the middle: whiskey. There are wine bars, cocktail bars and dive bars, and JT and Leslie felt like there was room in the industry for something different.
Whiskey-ing You Off Your Feet
Come for the food, stay for the atmosphere… and maybe for another drink or two. If you think that because Bosscat is a whiskey bar, that it’s going to be a buttoned-up space for veteran whiskey lovers, you’ve got it all wrong. Yes, you’ll have over 300 whiskeys to choose from, including some very rare brands exclusive to the Old Towne Orange location, but Bosscat’s bartenders will be there to guide you through your selection. Matt Sharp, Bosscat’s bar director, promotes a non-pretentious vibe at the bar. Whether you like a cold beer or a 30-year-old scotch, Bosscat has it.
If you’re new to whiskey, Matt recommends beginning with a whiskey flight of three to four different styles. If you’ve “been there, done that,” you’ll be excited to know that Matt has some very rare, private barrel selections from all over the world handpicked for this location. The ones he’s most excited for you to try? The Highwest Single Barrel Rye and the 1792 Single Barrel Bourbon. Whatever you are thirsty for, they’ll take care of you at Bosscat.
For those who are more about the munchies on a night out, Bosscat is your spot. From the spicy chicken and cheese dip to the red velvet churros, you’ll feel like you just found paradise. If you’ve never been to the Newport location, take these yummy recommendations from Chef Peter: The Bosscat Burger “Chef’s Way” and the 12 Hour Beef Short Rib. You might be thinking: ‘but what should I have with my whiskey?’ Peter has a suggestion for that, as well.
“I think one of the best items to share with whiskey is our Pork Belly Poutine. It has a robust gumbo-style gravy with pork belly and cheese curds, served over our house-made Bosscat fries.”
Are you hungry yet?
Get ready to indulge in Bosscat’s finest drinks and dishes. The Grand Opening is anticipated to happen in early April, and we can’t wait to check it out! Cheers to the good times to come at Bosscat!
Last Updated on May 18, 2023 by Pattie Cordova