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October 24th, 2012 12:01 am MATTHEW SINGER | Bar Reviews

Alberta Substation: Player Substitution

clublist_albertasub_3851ALBERTA SUBSTATION - IMAGE: leahnash.com

First thing’s first: No, Alberta Substation (2703 NE Alberta St., 284-4491, albertasubstation.com) is not a sandwich shop. Housed in the 80-year-old brown stucco building previously occupied by Thai restaurant Siam Society, the Concordia-area sports pub takes its name from the original tenant, the Northwestern Electric Company, which operated a power station in that spot in the 1930s. So it’s basically a McMenamins-style repurposing job, helmed by Circa 33’s Josh Johnston and Jim Hall, except the conversion feels, well, a bit unnatural. A large, arched doorway leads into a room outfitted with cathedral windows, a massive projection screen and a mirrored bar whose top shelf must be accessed by ladder; framed jerseys of disgraced athletes hang on concrete walls next to insulators excavated from the basement and an antique high-voltage rack. It’s like they shoved an upscale man-cave inside an old community playhouse. As incongruous as the mix of faded industrialism and nouveau-westside chic comes across, though, it makes for an appealingly strange atmosphere to watch a Ducks game, even if it’s somewhat inadvertent. And there’s little quibbling with the cocktail menu, in particular the Knee Jerk ($7), a thick, sweet rum drink blending honey syrup, lemon juice and egg whites and dusted with just enough cayenne to leave a pleasant burn.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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