The Ostrich lets go Brandon Casey, social media weighs in

BY Jess Harter Monday, November 13, 2017

BrandonCaseyOstrich111317Well, that sure escalated quickly.

If you weren’t on social media Saturday, you missed a classic shitstorm involving Crust, The Ostrich and Brandon Casey (pictured).

It all began when The Ostrich, Crust’s speakeasy-themed basement bar at the San Marcos Resort in downtown Chandler, announced on Facebook it had parted ways with the well-known Valley mixologist:


The above is a screen capture I took Saturday afternoon – the original has since been deleted – when, as you can see, the announcement already had generated more than 100 responses. Without getting into the particulars, let’s just say the majority weren’t polite.

Casey, who came to The Ostrich after a high-profile and successful stint at Citizen Public House in Old Town Scottsdale, had only a brief response on Facebook:


Casey’s supporters. however, were much more vocal – and active – in expressing their disappointment. The Ostrich’s Facebook page quickly received more than 100 one-star ratings, driving its overall rating of 4.5 stars (out of 5) down to just 2.7 stars in a few hours:


I imagine Crust and The Ostrich were surprised by the vehemence of the public response. Quite frankly, though, they don’t owe anyone (except Casey) an explanation for a decision they felt was in the best interests of their business.

But from a food and drink perspective, Casey’s departure, regardless of the circumstances, is a blow to downtown Chandler, which has been cultivating a late-night cocktail scene for the past two years.

Along with The Ostrich, several other restaurants with strong bar programs recently have opened downtown, including The Brickyard Downtown, La Bocca, and Modern Margarita (the latter two temporarily closed after a fire in their shared kitchen last week).

Hard to say where that scene goes now, but that’s a subject for a future post.

Casey, for his part, has plenty to keep him busy while he ponders his next move. Earlier this year he purchased his Tempe neighborhood dive bar, The Woodshed, which was subject to a well-publicized makeover last week.

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