When two friends spend a lot of time together, one of two things can happen: they either get sick of one another or they share a similar vision.
Fortunately for patrons of V Restaurant, Bistro & Bar, its owners have a shared vision to keep their newly obtained establishment fresh, relevant and, of course, tasty.
Gina Galloway and Heather Tindle bought the two-in-one business of V Restaurant, Bistro & Bar and became the official owners on July 1.
“It just seemed like the natural order of things,” Tindle said. “Better to keep it in local hands than to put it up for sale and have someone from the Bay Area or somewhere take over.”
Tindle had been managing the business for the former owners and Galloway was responsible for the bookkeeping, both roles they’ve continued along with the added title of co-owner.
The restaurant, according to Tindle, was opened in 2003 as the V Restaurant and Bar by Michael Ninos and Bob Anderson. The Bistro was opened in 2011, the same year Anderson departed the business.
“There are two separate sides,” Tindle said. “This (V Restaurant and Bar) is more upscale dining and that (V Bistro and Bar) is casual. It’s always kind of been separate, but legally it’s one business. We merged the two for the DBA.”
Making it feel like two different establishments is an effort to appeal to a broader audience, the two point out.
“There’s not a lot of upscale dining in Murphys, so we are playing with the idea of do you make it all the Bistro? Because the Bistro is open seven days a week, very popular … and then, of course, upscale dining, Thursday through Sunday,” Tindle said. “But if we took (V Restaurant) away, I think Murphys would be missing something.”
To that end, Tindle said, the restaurant would keep the same hours, but they will utilize the dining space when it’s not in use for fun events.
Although the two have been working hard since taking over, the response from the community has been overwhelmingly positive.
“The community’s been ecstatic,” Galloway said. “We’ve had lots and lots and lots of positive feedback and support from everybody. We’re getting ready to do a re-grand opening with a new menu on Oct. 2, so that’s kind of a big thing for us.”
Regulars need not worry, however, the menu won’t be completely different.
“There are still some staples on the menu that we will never change. That’s not what we want to do,” Tindle said. “We’re not trying to flip it on its head. We’re just updating the menu, which the V has done and the Bistro has done seasonally anyway. It’s time for that. It’s been fun to brainstorm and get creative on not only the upscale but the Bistro as well.”
What are their favorite new additions?
“We’re introducing a warm spinach salad, that’s what I’d say I’m excited about because I’ve always been into salads above and beyond steak and potatoes,” Tindle said. “We are returning a few different items, like a French dip, which also, is fantastic.”
“I’m really excited about the V side menu,” Galloway said, referring to the upscale dining. “We’ve kept the same proteins, but everything else is totally different dishes than what we had.”
Much of the staff has remained the same as well. Tindle and Galloway employ about 25 people between both sides of the establishment, including bartender Scott Holmes, who, according to both, has “quite a following.”
“We’ve got some key players,” Tindle said. “Everyone that worked here before the transition of ownership is pretty much still here.”
Those key players are definitely needed as V is serving between 300 and 500 people during the week, depending on the time of year.
“That’s just Monday through Friday,” Tindle said. “Saturdays and Sundays are really busy.”
“Weekends are like hammer time,” Galloway said. Those days, they see 200 to 300 per day on average.
Even though it’s a lot of work with no time off at the moment, it’s a dream come true.
“Gosh, I’ve dreamed about having my own restaurant for years, since I was younger,” Galloway said. “I love to cook, and I like to get creative with the food. We have some really great chefs in our kitchen. When we start brainstorming about food, it’s just … you can see it.”