Bar Exam: Proper Brick Oven & Tap Room

The downtown bar and restaurant is the perfect place to unwind after a day under the summer sun.




IMAGE via PROPER BRICK OVEN & TAP ROOM facebook page
 

As is the case every summer, there are many great events that will draw you downtown in the coming months. Of course, a good number of those will take place partially or entirely outdoors — festivals, Pirates games, concerts and more. This is as it should be; after all, we have a good chunk of each year during which it is unwise — nay, masochistic — to be outside for more than a few moments.

And yet, if you’re like me, you may not actually be particularly fond of spending a great deal of time in the open air. Don’t let the more outdoorsy types among us bully you; some of us just prefer, say, couches and air conditioning. It’s a matter of preference and nothing more.

For those of you, you may want to combine a mostly-outdoor trip downtown with an activity that will bring you back within four walls. My recommendation: Hop over to Seventh Avenue and spend some quality time at Proper Brick Oven & Tap Room.

The restaurant, which opened in August 2013 in the former site of Tambellini Seventh Street Ristorante, wouldn’t be out of place in New York or London. A long, narrow room is lined on one side by a row of tables facing comfortable, booth-style seating on the wall and on the other by a bar with ample seating (which curls, at the building’s front, around the titular oven). An effortlessly-groovy, unobtrusive soundtrack mingles with relatively low lighting to invite patrons to linger at any time of day.

The emphasis on beer in Proper’s name should clue you in: The beer list is impressive. Inevitably, IPAs and other ales are dominant on the list but not overwhelming; pilsners and a number of summer selections are present to help those coming out of the sun to cool off, and a respectable quartet of stouts holds fast against seasonal convention. Local breweries are well-represented; during my visit, offerings from Spoonwood Brewing Co., Helltown Brewing, Draai Laag Brewing and more were on tap.

Don’t let that convince you that this simply is a beer joint, however; a robust wine list and several signature cocktails will keep less-hoppy guests happy. (I was tempted to forego the beer and order a Limoncello Collins. Next time.)

As to that oven: This is a place that will make pizza snobs very happy. Toppings, cheese and bread operate in perfect balance to form pies that are filling without being overwhelming, flavorful without being ostentatious. Sandwiches and refined bar-food staples round out the menu; I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the “Bacon Candy” app, the best reason I’ve yet found to keep our nation’s collective baconmania alive.

In short: Proper is a fine and satisfying bar and restaurant. It could be a pre-theater destination, a happy-hour stopping point or an indulgent lunch escape. But if you find yourself on city streets under the summer sun in the coming weeks, don’t be ashamed of your desire for shelter. Lead your friends to Seventh Street, and all will be well.

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Can You Really Learn CPR in Pittsburgh in Five Minutes?

Can You Really Learn CPR in Pittsburgh in Five Minutes?

We put two of our interns to the test at the Carnegie Science Center.
Important Things to Know About the Furries

Important Things to Know About the Furries

The Furries are in Pittsburgh this weekend for their annual convention. We’ve got a list of do’s and don’ts to make them feel welcome.
Pittsburgh Workers Use the Most Vacation Time in the Country

Pittsburgh Workers Use the Most Vacation Time in the Country

Project: Time Off reports that just 40 percent of Pittsburghers end the year with unused vacation time.
Duck Donuts Opens Its First Pittsburgh-Area Location

Duck Donuts Opens Its First Pittsburgh-Area Location

The shop promises a “taste of the Outer Banks” without the 9-hour drive.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in July

Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in July

This month's best bets in the ’Burgh.
Best of the 'Burgh 2017

Best of the 'Burgh 2017

Host an event in Pittsburgh’s urban sustainable homestead. Join a club for mushroom hunters. Tour a coal mine. Listen to some banjo music. We list our new favorite experiences, food, drink, personalities, stores, items and activities in the ’Burgh.
Daytripping: The ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’

Daytripping: The ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’

Fourteen years ago this month, the mighty Kinzua Viaduct met its match.
Restaurant Review: The Café Carnegie

Restaurant Review: The Café Carnegie

The restaurant, run by Dinette’s Sonja J. Finn, boosts the dining experience at the Carnegie museums in Oakland.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Can You Really Learn CPR in Pittsburgh in Five Minutes?

Can You Really Learn CPR in Pittsburgh in Five Minutes?

We put two of our interns to the test at the Carnegie Science Center.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Pusadee's Garden Will Close at End of Year (But Not Forever)

Pusadee's Garden Will Close at End of Year (But Not Forever)

Look for some big changes at the Upper Lawrenceville restaurant, which is expected to shutter for at least a year.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Best Places for Kids on Rainy Days in Pittsburgh

Best Places for Kids on Rainy Days in Pittsburgh

Read on for some under-the-radar ideas on how you and the kids can survive a rainy day this summer.

Comments


Condado Brings the Build-Your-Own Model to Tacos

Condado Brings the Build-Your-Own Model to Tacos

At the new Downtown taco-and-cocktail joint, you can get anything you like atop your tortilla shell — but can your creation stack up to nearby alternatives?

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Pittsburgh Pirates Looking for Relief from Their Bullpen

Pittsburgh Pirates Looking for Relief from Their Bullpen

The just-completed, pivotal 10-game stretch began and ended the same way for the Pittsburgh Pirates –– with no one having an answer for the faltering bullpen.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Make the Cut with Jonathan Moran Woodworks

Make the Cut with Jonathan Moran Woodworks

The Strip District-based woodworker's cutting boards can be custom made with the wood of your choice.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Buckle Up ... Again, as Cars 3 Hits Theaters

Buckle Up ... Again, as Cars 3 Hits Theaters

Reviews of "Cars 3" and "47 Meters Down," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Brewing Up Romance: A Couple Comes Together over Beer

Brewing Up Romance: A Couple Comes Together over Beer

See how this couple used their love of beer and breweries to create their special moments.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
New! Black Cherry Design Opens Retail Store

New! Black Cherry Design Opens Retail Store

Lauren Piasecki and Stan Adamik’s brick-and-mortar lifestyle boutique in Lawrenceville carries high-end furniture, lighting, new upholstery, candles, vintage goods and more.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Visit Thiel College for a Summer BBQ

Visit Thiel College for a Summer BBQ

On three days this summer, the college will host visit days for prospective students.

Comments

Edit Module