Flipped from the divey Chi-Town tap by Helios designs (Filter, Hounds Tooth) into a birchwood stream of faux-ski lodge-meets-plumber-meets-sports bar hang, the odd decor trio actually bathes something simple and seamless in a massive skylight at this new Lincoln Park bar and grill.
Owner Chris Owens’ main goal was to build a space that he would naturally enjoy, with every other affectation in homage to his family’s century-old plumbing business. Hence the name, the waitresses’ toolbelt aprons, copper pipes for rails and snapshots of his great-grandfather and crew presiding over it all.
A straight-forward drink menu is beer-centric, focusing on a handful of drafts and three dozen bottles, including craft brews (Half Acre, Magic Hat, Oberon) that aren’t too crafty. A wine list goes about 10 deep, as well.
Order bar food with a kick on menus repurposed from old newspaper articles of old Racine Plumbing milestones. Grand Geneva Country Club alum Rob Mulvenna’s lineup hits the right mix of sweet and spicy. Espresso-and-chili-rubbed bison burgers mix with seared ahi tuna nachos to add a sophisticated touch to an otherwise blue-collar bar.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Gavin Paul