New Bedford said goodbye to Greasy Luck last night. The popular downtown spot has been closed for nearly three weeks as ownership worked on a rebrand and reshuffling of the staff.

Last night, we were invited to a soft launch of The Vault Music Hall and Pub.

"It was time," said owner Howie Mallowes. "Too many people didn't understand what Greasy Luck meant. They weren't sure if it was a reference to the food. It just led to confusion."

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For the record, "greasy luck" was a term used by seamen heading out during the whaling days of New Bedford. The men would wish each other "greasy luck" as they headed out to sea to capture whales for oil. Mallowes decided to change the name during a short hiatus after bringing on a new complement of chefs who have been working on the release of a new menu.

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Chef Joe Melo already oversees the operations at Carmine's at Candleworks, but he will be now be adding The Vault and Rose Alley to his portfolio, becoming the Executive Corporate Chef for the New Bedford-based restaurants. Melo will be joined by chefs Liam Jacintho and Montana Good, who is currently a chef at Cork.

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The menu for the soft opening featured roughly half of what will be offered at the new Vault restaurant. We started the night with loaded tots (which were a definite kid pleaser) and the avocado and fig flatbread. Duck bacon flatbread, pork belly donut sliders and mussels were also appetizer options.

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The hanger steak was extremely flavorful, seasoned with a chimichurri sauce and microgreens. Bacon cheeseburgers, pan-seared snapper, baked beer mac and cheese, and shrimp and grits rounded out the soft opening menu.

Some of the Greasy Luck favorites, like the buffalo chicken poutine, will make the cut to the new Vault menu.

The Vault Music Hall and Pub via Facebook

Not surprisingly, Mallowes said a big part of The Vault Music Hall and Pub will be live music performances. SouthCoast singer-songwriter Craig Demelo was on the Vault stage last night.

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The restaurant officially opens to the public tonight.

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