By Amelia Heymann
Gwar is one of Richmond’s local treasures. A heavy metal band that dresses up as interplanet warriors who are stranded on earth and decide to form a metal group. Gwar opened up a restaurant back in 2014 by the name of “Gwar Bar,” a small place where you can shove meat in your face surrounded by fake blood and metal music.
I went with a group of friends, who were just as curious as me to see what kind of restaurant a heavy metal band would create. When our group entered the restaurant we were greeted almost immediately, and lead to a table. The theme of quick service would run through the night with our waitress constantly refilling our drinks, and never letting a dirty dish shit on the table for more than a minute.
Looking around the restaurant it’s no surprised that it was opened by a metal band. The small space was splattered fake blood on some of the booth walls and floor. The blacks and metals of the decor were complemented by soft metal playing in the background. Gwar fans will be happy to see the famous sword “Unt Lick,” or a replica of it hanging from the ceiling in the middle of the restaurant.
The menu overwhelmed me at first, not because there were too many options but because everything sounded so good. They had everything from poutine tots to a chicken and waffle sandwich. All of the dishes were a creative mixture of junk food meets gormet. This can be seen in their salad “lettuce slay” that contains both red onion confit as well as apple jacks.
Some of their menu items are more colorfully named such as the “jizzmac n’chee” and the “hail seitan sandwich.”
I eventually settled with ordering the chicken mcdugets and a side of fries.
I view myself as a chicken nugget connoisseur, and do not take my nuggets lightly. I was surprisingly pleased with the mcdugets. Since they were made from a combination of chicken meat and duck confit I thought the meats would overpower each other, but instead I found they worked together.
The fries were an experience on their own. At first when eating them I thought there was something extra about them but I couldn’t quite place my finger on it. After a few minutes of chewing I realized that they put some sort of bbq powder on them. It was enough to give the fries an extra zing, but not so much that it distracted you. Accompanied with the tomato basil ketchup I probably could have eaten nothing but those all evening.
Gwar bar has a wide variety of foods, including vegan and vegetarian options. I went with a friend who can’t eat dairy, soy, or grains, but even she was able to find something she could eat. She got the buffalo cauliflower. While I did not personally eat any, she said it was very good, and from across the table it almost fooled me as appearing like a real buffalo wing.
“It’s gwar-met!” Celia Delahunty, a VCU sophomore, said.
Pricing is more than reasonable. You pay around the same price at Gwarbar as you would at someplace like the Village Cafe, but the food you get is twice the quality. I spent nine dollars on my mcdugets and three on fries, but the portioning was great, and I left feeling filled to the brim.
Overall Gwarbar is more than just a gimmick restaurant. While the hard core aesthetics are what attract patrons, its the food that win them over. Located on 217 West Clay St., a ten minute walk from campus this is a restaurant I suggest everyone try.