Bastards is open for business.
The restaurant, which last month ruffled feathers and made news across the country, served its first food and drinks on Wednesday.
I caught up with Nick Velez and Calvin Spencer, the two Marines who co-own the restaurant.
They wore camo pants and looked excited and stressed.
Spencer is a Downey native.
It’s been a wild ride for the two friends, who took loads of criticism when they first hoisted the banner for their new business.
The name references the men’s group in the U.S. Marines, the Magnificent Bastards, which is the 2nd battalion 4th Marines based out of Camp Pendleton.
At first Velez was upset at all the attention the name drew. Now he figures it was a blessing. Dozens of people from all over the country have reached out to encourage him and Spencer. The story was picked up hundreds of news outlets. One Marine even saw a ‘Bastards’ story in his local newspaper in Tampa, Fla.
Military publications also ran stories on the restaurant.
The site of the former Downtown Bar-B-Que is refurbished with military decorations inside. I didn’t get a chance to try the food yet.
Velez and Spencer served in Iraq together, where they were tasked with securing neighborhoods, first in Ramadi, a big Sunni city west of Baghdad, and then in another Iraqi city.