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New Chico bar trying to shake up the cocktail scene

By Colin Steiner, csteiner@krcrtv.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 12:49:55 PM CST
Updated On: Oct 30 2013 12:30:00 AM CDT

A new downtown Chico bar called The Argus is trying to bring something fresh by serving craft cocktails made with local and homemade ingredients.

"We don't want to be another type of bar where they go, 'Aren't you guys like this bar?' That's not what we're going for, we're going for being The Argus," says owner Scott Baldwin.

Baldwin is so dedicated to making his bar on 2nd Street stand apart from the others, he went so far as to recruit a San Diego bartender, Travis Baker, to make his vision a reality.

"I look at bartending the way I look at cooking," Baker, who's the bar manager, says. "Fresh ingredients are better, better ingredients are better. The things that taste better people want more of."

The Argus is a craft cocktail bar, with many ingredients either local or made on site.

"Strawberry infused bourbon we do in house. We have a chai infused brandy that we're using local Chico Chai for. So all that's done in house, by us," says Baker.

Baldwin says he wasn't sure about the craft cocktail idea at first but Baker convinced him that his craft drinks would wow Chicoans and stir up plenty of business.

"I like quality and when he (Baker) started explaining that it was going to be fresh juice, that we were going to do infused liquors....And his Kentucky Buck, as soon as I had that I thought, 'Man, this is a good drink. If all of your drinks are this good, I think you're going to blow people's minds,'" Baldwin says.

While Baldwin and Baker are working to give Chico something a little more sophisticated, in the end they're just a couple of young guys that want to create a fun and inviting environment.

"First and foremost, we're a bar, we're a place to come have a drink and to have a good time," Baldwin says. "We serve quality alcohol, we serve quality beer, we serve quality cocktails, so if you want to come down here and you respect the craft of what's being put together and have a great drink, I think The Argus is going to be a great fit for anybody in the community."

The Argus just opened their doors last Friday with their grand opening celebration set for this Friday.

Adding to that notion of doing something different, Baldwin says they hope to put their large patio to great use in the future and have food trucks park out there to serve patrons.