“Bar Twist: A Classy New Cocktail” for Beacon Media Newspapers

February 2008

Arcadia is shaking up the bar scene with last week’s opening of Bar Twist.

A bar, restaurant and jazz/blues club in one, Bar Twist instantly welcomes its patrons with large, elegant earth-toned booths bookended by dark yellow curtains. A mix of colorful art adorns the walls and a brick fireplace adds even more warmth to this tasteful yet comfortable setting where no dress code exists.

“I don’t think there’s anything similar to this in Arcadia,” said co-owner Oski Sfetcu, whose partner is Andy Lee. “I think the city itself needed something classier and we hope to bring quality to the area.”

The most refreshing aspect is that all but two tables of Bar Twist’s seating are booths, which are available to anyone who walks in; no overcharged bottle service required.

On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights the attitude that usually accompanies music clubs and bars along with a velvet rope and bouncer is replaced with the soul of the three house bands that play blues, smooth jazz and a mix of both without a cover charge.

Somethin Smoothe, a smooth jazz and R&B group, performed a dazzling set of funky original songs and Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye covers that soothed and excited the Saturday night crowd, some of whom took to the small dance floor.

Clientele at this new spot includes couples, singles and groups in their 20s to mid 40s and there is a fun, community vibe that is still chic, instead of the sleazy pick-up scene that may exist elsewhere.

In addition to reasonably priced cocktails like a black cherry mojito or watermelon martini, Bar Twist has a wine list of about twenty selections by the glass or bottle.

Food includes skewers, mini hamburgers, thin crust pizzas, grilled paninis, and home-made tiramisu for dessert. Bar Twist plans to be open for lunch and dinner to provide the menu to customers throughout the day.

A bowl of Doritos chips is brought to each table and drinks are served on beer coasters by non-uniformed waitresses, which conflicts with the jazz club atmosphere, but Sfetcu said they are trying to figure out the clientele and also want to cater to sports fans with a flat screen TV and a larger pull down screen.

“I don’t want to pack the place with TVs but I want to offer that service,” said Sfetcu.

Packing the place with tables is also not the focus, since Bar Twist could easily opt for smaller or less booths to maximize space, but this establishment was designed with the customer in mind, stressed Sfetcu.

In the future, Bar Twist will open a back patio and there is a possibility of comedy acts or a karaoke night.

If you are looking for an unassuming but classy good time, accompanied by enticing food, drinks and music without the paid parking, long lines or snootiness, then head on over to Bar Twist.

Bar Twist opens everyday at 11 a.m. and has late hours on the weekend and live music on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night.

Bar Twist: 48 East Huntington Drive, Arcadia. For more information, call (626) 254-1760.

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