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August 27th, 2014 MATTHEW KORFHAGE | Bar Reviews
 

Mad Sons Pub: Untelevised Revolution

clublist_madsons_4043MAD SONS PUB - IMAGE: Jerek Hollender

There is no “I” in Mad Sons (1109 SE Madison St., 265-8531, madsonspub.com). The new Revolutionary War-themed bar is a beautiful hardwood affair complete with 13-star flags, a hearth, a giant blue-felt billiards table and a picture of the signing of the Declaration of Independence burned into the wood of the bar’s service gate. But this time last year it was Madison’s Bar and Grill, an 18-year survivor of a bar that looked like a Denny’s in West Virginia and attracted the same clientele. And while the new owners have spared no sweat equity prettying up the inside, the classic, two-story neon sign out front has merely had its “I” taped over so it won’t shine at night (they plan to eventually remove the letter). The interior makeover is more than cosmetic, however. The bar—owned by a seven-strong consortium of bar and service vets, including a pair from East Side Deli—now offers a fine selection of tapped local beers and ciders, plus house drinks with black tea or root beer. The classic Old Pal ($10, with Old Overholt rye, bitters and Dolin vermouth) has an agreeably firm handshake, and the food menu rolls between beef slab sandwich and root beer-flavored chicken nuggets (a treat at $5 during early and late happy hours). But so far, it’s been a very quiet revolution at the young pub, with few patrons on multiple visits, and a varied cast of founding fathers: I’m pretty sure I’ve encountered both an affably erudite Thomas Jefferson and a deeply surly John Adams. All they need now is Thomas Paine.

 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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