After closing in March and again in July due to state restrictions, the Downtown cocktail bar Velveteen Rabbit reopened today.

“I’m excited to reopen,” says co-owner Pamela Dylag. “It will be good.”

The quirky Arts District favorite is debuting a new food menu consisting of quiches and a hummus platter. All food is $3. The addition of a food menu and the removal of the stage to make room for socially distanced seating are key measures that will allow the bar to return to life.  

The new cocktail menu is themed to music and is presented in a zine-style format featuring photography by Peter McDeal and Shahab Zargari, visual art by Daniel Ayala, Narble Art and Lauren Ashley and excerpts from old Colombian radio plays translated into English by Gigi Guizado. 

The cocktails themselves are named with a wink to different songs. A cucumber, lavender and black pepper gin cocktail is called Pictures of You. For an extra $3, the drink comes with a Polaroid photo. The rum cocktail Miserlou (an ode to the Dick Dale instrumental of the same name) includes jalapeño aguardiente and coconut milk. Good Chai-brations (a la the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations”) has a chai tea-infused rye and apple brandy. 

All cocktails are $14, except for the Lovers Rock (shoutout to Sade). The mixture of rums, golden falernum and smoked blackberry agave is $80 and serves four to six people. 

While the bar was closed, sisters and co-owners Pamela and Christina Dylag made some improvements.

“The patio is under a complete renovation,” Pamela says. “[It has] a totally different feeling. … It’s going to be so cool.” 

There’s now a striking floral mural on the patio by artist Sloane Siobhan. And artist Heather Hermann, the “Duchess of Deco” who recently completed a mural project for Area 15, will be making art on the floors. The patio is set to reopen next week. 

Velveteen Rabbit is open Sunday through Thursday from 5 p.m. until midnight and Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. until 2 a.m.



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