With the ruckus that’s been raised about the Winchester Goose, you might be unaware that there’s a new watering hole that’s been quietly gearing up to open at the end of the month. One step inside The Argus (212 W. 2nd Street), and it’s clear how much love and attention went into the revamping of this centrally located spot. With a beautifully redone interior and a patio area that is truly awesome, this bar is perfectly poised to become your new favorite place to indulge in a libation. Owner Scott Baldwin was nice enough to sit down with me and give me a rundown on what we can expect of his new drinking establishment.

How did this all come about? 

I approached Woody when he was selling the Park Ave Pub, but ultimately decided against it because of the location. I also considered buying an established place in Portland, and had actually found a spot that I really liked, but then I got a call about this space. When we first saw this place, it was a dump. But I saw what the patio could be.

It’s a pretty amazing patio. 

I want to build an exterior bar and further develop it beyond what it’ll be when we open. I plan on opening the back patio gates and bringing in a food truck so people can eat and hang out back there. During the farmer’s market we also want to turn the patio into a beer garden, and have steins that they can buy at the market.

What makes this bar different from all the others in Chico? 

Travis Baker (Argus Bar Manager) has been an incredible asset, with his experience working for Eric Castro at Polite Provisions (revered San Diego bar). He’s got a ton of knowledge and his craft is very honed. We’re very fortunate that he bought into my vision. He packed his bags and moved to Chico to help me with this… and Travis is definitely pretty. He dresses well (laughs). Basically it’s a commitment to the quality of the product. If you order a Jack and Coke, it’s going to come out quickly. If it’s one of the signature cocktails off the menu, the tonic in it is always going to be bottled Schwepps. We use Mexicoke because we don’t want the corn syrup. Obviously if someone requests the regular, off-the-gun stuff, then sure—you get what you ask for. We also have a cold draft ice machine that’s pretty cool. With the filtration process, it’s constantly circulating so the ice doesn’t get any particulates in it, which makes it harder so it melts slower.

Anything else you want to add? 

Everyone is welcome here. There’s a lot of great places to go in Chico, and we want to be one of them.

There you have it, kids. A soft opening for The Argus will be held on October 25th, with a grand opening on November 1st. (They’ll also be open the whole week leading up to the 1st.) 


Zooey Mae has been working as a writer monkey for Synthesis Weekly since 2007. Her favorite things include (but are not limited to), Jeffrey Brown, bubble wrap, Craig Thompson, pillow forts, receiving handwritten letters, and whiskey. She spends her free time stockpiling supplies for the impending robot Apocalypse and avoiding eye contact with strangers.