Restaurant Redux: Handle Bar Tavern

April 2012

If you live in the Wash Park area, you likely mourned the loss of the Handle Bar & Grill when it closed more than two years ago. In its place, the rather unimpressive Downing Street Bar & Grill opened under different ownership. Driving by, the empty parking lot made it clear the neighborhood wasn’t supporting the new spot. Then, one day in November, the Downing Street sign disappeared and was replaced by one that reads: Handle Bar Tavern.

Drive by the eatery today and you’ll notice the cars have returned. But instead of a cycling-themed bar with a separate restaurant space, diners will find a fully concepted tavern that’s undergone a total renovation—but reverted to a somewhat familiar name. “The Pour Kids bar group bought the place, made extensive interior changes, and revamped the menu,” says Elisa Minchin, the tavern’s general manager. “It’s going really well.”

Beyond a menu full of scratch-made food (Minchin says the Mexican items are top-notch), the tavern also touts a happy hour ($1 off drafts and $3 wells; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays), karaoke on Tuesdays, rock ’n’ roll bingo on Wednesdays, trivia on Thursdays, and live tunes on Fridays.

305 S. Downing St., 303-733-3923