West Haven brothers open unique bar, eatery in Orange
Brothers Mike and Chris Del Vecchio of West Haven have always been entrepreneurs individually, but now they’ve pooled their creativity in opening BarCode, a bar and restaurant that offers everything from bingo and dancing to deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
“It’s a place anybody can go — there’s something different going on every night,” Chris Del Vecchio said.
Mike Del Vecchio said, “We’re trying to be different — that means different things you can do than sit down and eat.”
Their new venue is tucked in the corner of a plaza at 501 Boston Post Road, where bar LT’s Corner was before closing.
“I’m hoping they make it,” said Carol Smullen, executive director of the Orange Chamber of Commerce. “They’re young, they’re enthusiastic and they’ve been in business before.”
The Del Vecchio brothers gutted the old place and remodeled — it’s clean, open and has a modern feel.
Mike Del Vecchio, 37, described the place as part “upscale sports bar” — they have 17, 65-inch flat-screen televisions, pool tables, pool and darts leagues, cushy private seating areas with couches and a huge dance floor with music provided by a band on Fridays and a disc jockey on Saturdays.
He previously owned two pawn shops — Boulevard Pawn Shop and Foxon Pawn — but wanted to make a change because those ventures required so many hours.
Chris Del Vecchio, 33, worked in the parts department of Courtney Honda for numerous years, but also ran his own nightclub promotion business, CT Nightlife.
Through his businesses, scaled down now, he made contacts in entertainment and so is able to get “the hottest bands and DJs” to play BarCode, he said. After only two months, because of the well-known entertainment they draw, BarCode is drawing regulars from as far north as North Haven and throughout Fairfield County, as far away as Norwalk, he said.
Chris Del Vecchio said he’s drawn on years of experience in the promotions field to bring creative ideas to the brotherly enterprise.
BarCode runs specials all week — a Tuesday offering $2 tacos, $3 tequila shots, a networking happy hour, a Monday wing night for 75 cents each. The menu offers 22 appetizers, as well as burgers and deep-fried desserts one typically finds at a carnival —twinkies, Oreos, strawberry tarts.
In addition to the usual drinks and craft beer, they serve their own unique cocktails such as the “Bro Code” — with the subtext, “Ladies you can’t handle it.” The drink contains Jameson Irish Whiskey, Triple Sec, sour mix, lemon-lime soda and a splash of beer. At Halloween time they offered a Zombitini — complete with floating fake eyeball.
On Saturday, they’ll host an ugly sweater party for Christmas with a well-known DJ from Atlantic City.
“Orange was lacking a good bar,” Mike Del Vecchio said, and after two months he already loves the business, because he’s “meeting a lot of good people.”