July 18, 2018 • Tod Caviness
(Begin excerpt) And if you’re just looking for a casual night out? Revelers have a new option in a familiar space just a few blocks east, at the old home of Pine St. Bar & Grill. New owners Carey Sobel, Brandon Geers and Logan Berkowitz have reopened the spot as The Basement, and I’m glad to see that it is settling into the neighborhood niche of the original tenants.
The Basement serves as a low-key sister bar to The Attic, Geers and Berkowitz’s upstairs nightclub. If you enjoyed the jeans-and-sneakers ethic of the old Pine St. Bar, you’ll be happy to see that The Basement has kept the wooden booths, the patio tables and (yes!) the table tennis. There’s new decor on the walls along with some Prohibition-era photos, but you won’t find complicated cocktails or snobbery here. This is still one of the few spots in downtown that doesn’t mind being called a dive bar.
To that end, The Basement boasts drink specials that include select $3 shots every night, plus $3 Bloody Marys (with a buffet of premium toppings) on Sunday. There is never a cover, and the side room offers some filling pub grub from the former food-truck foodies of Chi Phi. That moniker may sound vaguely Asian, but it’s actually shorthand for the eatery’s menu of Chicago and Philadelphia-inspired cuisine, including cheesesteak, Polish sausage and cheese curds.
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