Brian Rozario, owner of The Buoy, has reopened his neighborhood bar at a new location, 850 Quintana Rd.
The Buoy, one of Morro Bay’s favorite watering holes, has bobbed up again at a new location after being sunk for over two years.
Brian Rozario has reopened The Buoy, formerly on North Main Street, in a new location at 850 Quintana Rd., filling a long-time restaurant space that over the years has been home to Denny’s, Bob’s Big Boy and most recently, The Grill Hut but has been vacant for some time.
Rozario’s new location takes Buoy from one of the smallest to one of the largest watering holes in town, with tons of space and a beautiful long bar to belly up to.
But though his official capacity is 116, under the State’s coronavirus pandemic restrictions he can only use 25% of the space, in what has to be a tough time to open a bar.
He’s only allowed 29 people at a time right now, Rozario explained while standing behind the bar stocked with every kind of spirit.
But the bar looks great, with lots of light coming in through the windows and tons of space, so once the Governor’s lockdown ends, it should turn into a nice place to have an adult beverage and relax.
He is offering a limited menu of traditional bar foods — Buffalo wings, pizzas, corn dogs, poppers and some sushi rolls.
“I will have a chef with a regular menu once we’re able to open up more,” Rozario said.
Rozario had been in Los Angeles where he owned a travel agency and car rental business when he moved to Morro Bay in 2000. He was traveling back and forth to L.A. for work until he bought The Buoy in 2008. He sold his other businesses and operated the neighborhood tavern until July 2018.
He said he was going to sell his liquor license after the bar closed, but then he said the new location came open and he decided to reopen The Buoy.
His particular liquor license, a “No. 48,” which is for a bar only, and that’s why he doesn’t have a larger menu.
There are only three, 48 licenses in town, he said, The Buoy, The Siren and Legend’s Tavern. Most restaurant-bars have a #47 license.
Rozario’s wife is classical cellist Nancy Nagano who performs with the San Luis Symphony and is director of the Youth Symphony. He said she came down and tested the acoustics of the new location and decided it was pretty good for music and given the size of the place, a live music would seem to fit nicely.
Rozario had a “soft opening” on Oct. 2 and, he laughs, with the virus restrictions, things are still pretty soft.
The Buoy is open from 2-10 p.m. weekdays and 2-midnight weekends. There is no cover charge and patrons must wear a face covering when they enter. Social distancing is also suggested.