Saturday, January 31, 2009

12th Street Taphouse

Taking its name from the one-block street it faces down, 12th Street Taphouse opened up in late January with little fanfare. With a short life as Spry's Barbecue, and before that Northern Exposure, the space has been renovated over the last few months. A couple weeks ago, a signboard appeared on the sidewalk out front when it was open but it took a while for a sign to appear on the building.

The front of the restaurant, truly a large space, was opened up by dropping a few walls. The stairs to the rooftop deck were removed. It was never a beautiful stretch of West Main to gaze upon while eating. Downtown mall rooftop dining would be a novelty.

There are 14 beers on tap, all served in 20oz. superpint glasses. The Guinness tastes the way it should. I'm not sure what makes Guinness so bad at some restaurants: old kegs or incorrect proportions of CO2 and nitrogen (an interesting topic). Whatever it is, it's good now. The menu is similar to Michael's Bistro. I enjoyed by spaghetti bolognese. My dining partner opted for the steak, but didn't love it. Hey, it's the first month, and it could be argued that steak should only be ordered in a steakhouse.

The few times I've been in, the bar has been bustling. It's a cozy spot and I think as more people realize it's open, it should be bustling by summer. It's proximity to the medical center will certainly keep it in business as long as the food is consistent.

The best part about this place is that there is now a bar on my walk home from work. An outdoor patio is coming this spring, and the rooftop may be functional next year.

Here is a photo of the patio when not open.As reported before, the rooftop space will reopen but probably not until next year.

West Main Street across from the Courtyard at Marriott

No comments: