A decades-old Tex-Mex dining and drinking spot on Cross Street is changing its name and look.
The operators of the No Way Jose Café at 38 E. Cross Street will be holding a “retirement weekend” for the bar from this Friday through Sunday. When the restaurant and bar reopens later this month, it’ll have a new name, concept and menu.
Still, regulars need not worry about any drastic changes from the rebrand. General manager Don Messinese said in a phone interview that they’ve decided to rebrand while retaining the bar’s friendly atmosphere.
“We just want to keep it simple and fun,” he said of the new concept. “Jose’s has always had that great soul in Fed Hill for being the fun spot for everybody to end up.”
No Way Jose Café briefly and abruptly shut down before it was taken over by the owners of neighboring cantina Blue Agave in February 2016, as reported by The Sun. At the time, the new proprietors weren’t sure if they would keep the bar as is or change the whole concept.
Messinese said they’ve benefitted from being able to make big renovations gradually over the last half-year or so. Alterations have included replacing the front doors with a garage and removing a set of stairs inside to open up the bar and restaurant.
“Luckily for us, we’ve been able to do it kind of at a slow pace,” he said.
Without revealing any details about the bar’s new name or planned menu changes, Messinese said the food will stay “simple” and “super approachable.” They also could add new options later on based on customer feedback, he said.
Regulars and barhoppers are invited to help No Way Jose Café celebrate its retirement this weekend. Management will be auctioning off the bar’s signature bay windows and its wooden sign out front, and visitors will get a special gift to commemorate its final days.