Grab your friends and fishbowls: Ugly Tuna Saloona is BACK!
John Votino, owner of the O.G. Ugly Tuna is planning the comeback of the year. After closing on all paperwork last Friday, renovations on what was formerly Two Bucks on the corner of Chittenden and Summit have already begun.
“I walked up and down high street probably 50 times in the past year looking for sites. I became friends with a lot of the bar owners, specifically Scott at Three’s.”
Votino wants this bar, “Ugly Tuna 2”, to feel like the same place students have loved going to unwind since 2004. The walls will be their classic ocean blue, plus all of the bar’s classic canvases will be going back up on new walls. Votino is building a stage just to the left of the entrance, as well as adding umbrellas, tables, and chairs to the patio out front. All the same deals you remember and love will be there: fishbowls and Ugly Hour.
Although Votino knows the old bar’s vibes were primarily focused on drinking and dancing, he wants to offer a limited menu of bar bites at the new spot. In partnership with one of his other local restaurants, Nasty’s Sports Bar in Hilliard, Ugly Tuna 2 will offer burgers, wings, and pizza available for purchase.
Votino’s four kids all went through Ohio State, and at the request of his daughter who graduated last spring, Ugly Tuna remained open for the 2018 Senior Bar Crawl. (We love a man of the people.) Despite the rising rent costs of a High St location, Votino holds no grudges with Ohio State and knows that the time has come for High St to develop in a new direction. He’s mostly excited to begin Ugly Tuna 2’s journey on Chittenden with a new family of bars.
“Oldfield’s, Leo’s, all these bars are moving away from High St. I think we’ll have good synergy between us, it will be a good walking place. Our new saying is, ‘Getting Chitty With It’.”
Free Ugly Tuna 2 t-shirts will be handed out at the front doors during the 2019 Senior Bar Crawl. While the bar will definitely be open for business by Tuesday, April 30, Votino’s goal is to open doors around April 25 or 26 to give his crew time to get into a rhythm at the new location.
“Students gotta have fun. They have to have a place to unwind as long as nobody gets hurt, and that’s what we’re all about. Dancing and drinking in moderation,” he laughed.