With a nod to The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe, The Rellik Tavern has an old world ambiance that’s paired with modern sophistication, artisanal talent in mixology and a powerful depth of wine and beers that have made regulars of many individuals in Benicia and neighboring cities.
R-E-L-L-I-K, KILLER spelled backwards, was a name that was coined by the early owners of the bar in June of 2009 – Delando and Zoey Pagan along with long time friend, Tom Hamilton. In pursuant years, the Rellik name would spread to an Oregonian winery, owned and operated by the original tavern owners, and The Rellik Tavern would be happily sold to Chad and Debbie Rollans. Debbie, who took ownership last year, had been a primary force in making The Rellik a decade-long success. When asked how she came to be involved with The Rellik, Debbie recounts a time when she and her husband were walking down 1st Street back in 2009 and saw a sign for “Open Interviews” in what used to be Pastime Bar. “I wonder how your talents might shine here?” Chad asked Debbie.
Their journey to bar ownership in Benicia was an unusual one. At BYU, Chad had completed pre-med requirements and Debbie did the same in law at UC Davis. They met in Marina Del Rey, working the Hollywood bar scene until an opportunity with Valero brought them to the Bay Area. “Chad and I would often sit up late at night trying to figure out what we would name our very own bar someday…” Debbie recounts. “We always knew that we wanted to grow in the service and hospitality industry, we just had no idea that our dream would happily lead us here!”
The Rellik’s craft cocktails (the Verbena, Rosie the Riveter and the delectable Flamingo among others) were expertly fine-tuned by Debbie with her experience in mixology while serving Hollywood denizens. The signature drinks and classic cocktails alike are made with meticulous consistency and fresh ingredients to ensure that the Rellik experience is kept in the highest register. The current space is filled with art from Arts Benicia and 8 flat screen TVs along with a white screen an
d projector for large viewing events. The VIP room is blocked off from most of the space with a red velvet curtain. Booking the room is a simple matter of contacting them on their website or by phone for any special event or private ensemble. Also found on their website is the bar’s event calendar, where you can see exactly what events, bands, and specials they offer each day. Local organizations come to the Rellik thanks to the support that they receive from the events that are hosted in the space. A personal favorite, Le Cercueil Noir, hosts events for anyone with an affinity for the macabre on the last Thursday of every month, known as “Goth Night.” For growth, The Rellik entertains the idea of opening a new front elsewhere or perhaps growing organically here in Benicia. The Rollans Family, without a doubt loves Benicia. “Our goal is to celebrate and share the finer things life has to offer while being a part of and supporting this wonderful community around us.”