Craftsman Row Saloon Officially Opens Today
Today, Friday, December 4, brother-and-sister restaurateurs George and Vasiliki Tsiouris, co-owners of Midtown Village’s Opa and Drury Beer Garden, will officially open Craftsman Row Saloon. Craftsman Row replaces the longstanding Coco’s at 112 South 8th Street on Jewelers’ Row. The bar is named for the artisans that work in the area.
The Tsiouris’ have refreshed but certainly not gutted the space that was Coco’s since 1984. Gone is the carpeting (never a good idea in a bar) but much of Coco’s character remains. The facade remains largely intact, although with a brand spanking new canopy adorned with the Craftsman’s logo. The bar itself, still has nameplates of Coco’s regulars at each end. The booths have been reupholstered in dark brown leather. The floor is now distressed black hardwood floors. Faux taxidermy adorns the walls and “campfire-style” pendant lights give the space a comfortable saloon vibe.
In the kitchen is Rich Freedman who was most recently sous chef at Opa under chef Bobby Saritsolgou. The Craftsman menu is a welcoming bar menu of oysters, spicy stout-glazed wings, French onion soup, Brawler bratwurst, pork schnitzel, a Reuben special and pork schnitzel. Those standards are enhanced with some lighter salads like the seasonally appropriate kale salad with cranberries, maple-cider vinaigrette and spiced almonds. As George pointed out, the menu comes in at about the same price point as Coco’s but with a more modern and fresh take.
Behind the bar 16 beers are available on draft, backed up by another 16 in bottles and cans. The Craftsman also offers a cocktail list including Pear of The Dog with spiced rum, ginger beer and pear puree; Sage the Day with gin, elderflower liqueur and sage; and Juan and Done with honey tequila, orange liqueur and fresh lime.
Often times when a bar replaces a long-running business, lip service is paid to keeping a connection to the past and keeping the regulars happy. But often it is just that, lip service. But on a Thursday afternoon, former Coco’s employees worked the tables and the bar, keeping longtime customers connected to the space. Both the employees and customers seemed pleased at their new digs. And with the spiffed up menu and space, George and Vasiliki Tsiouris should bring in many who never poked their head in the space before.
Craftsman Row is open seven days a week for lunch, dinner and late-night, from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m.
Craftsman Row Saloon’s Opening Menu
The Craftsman’s food in photos
Craftsman Row Saloon [Foobooz]