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

PA Turnpike: In E-ZPass We Trust, and You Should Too

PA Turnpike: In E-ZPass We Trust, and You Should Too

The turnpike wants to educate drivers to some changes arriving soon at toll booths.
It's a Sign: Could Pittsburgh Be the New Hollywood?

It's a Sign: Could Pittsburgh Be the New Hollywood?

Pittsburgh could be well on its way to replicating one of Hollywood’s most prominent landmarks.
Where in Pittsburgh to Dump Your Old TV or Computer

Where in Pittsburgh to Dump Your Old TV or Computer

You are going to want to print this list and keep it handy.
Watch: Jameson Taillon's Remarkable Recovery

Watch: Jameson Taillon's Remarkable Recovery

Sports media company Whistle Sports documented Pirates pitcher Jameson Taillon's recovery workout regime.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in April

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in April

This month's best bets in the ’Burgh.
Take a Hike: 10 of the Best Trails in the Pittsburgh Area

Take a Hike: 10 of the Best Trails in the Pittsburgh Area

Lace up your sneakers or hiking boots and head outdoors for 10 great walks for spring.
412 Food Rescue: Revolutionary Repurposing

412 Food Rescue: Revolutionary Repurposing

Local nonprofit organization 412 Food Rescue is taking food that otherwise would be tossed aside and connecting it with those in need through-of-the-moment technology.
Spring Fashion: The Height of White

Spring Fashion: The Height of White

Fashion is white haute this spring with the best looks from local stores.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


PA Turnpike: In E-ZPass We Trust, and You Should Too

PA Turnpike: In E-ZPass We Trust, and You Should Too

The turnpike wants to educate drivers to some changes arriving soon at toll booths.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Dish Osteria and Bar To Close

Dish Osteria and Bar To Close

The beloved Pittsburgh institution will serve its last meal in April.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

These spots are tailored for couples who are looking for a simple, chill night out on Valentine’s Day (or any other day). If your significant other isn’t the type to be wooed by expensive wines and chocolates, this is the list for you.

Comments


Market Square's Big New Bar is Surprisingly Good

Market Square's Big New Bar is Surprisingly Good

You may not want to be charmed by City Works, but the beer-and-bites spot will likely win you over.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Steelers’ Philosophy Back on Display After Hightower Flirtation

Steelers’ Philosophy Back on Display After Hightower Flirtation

Even as they entertained Dont’a Hightower for nearly seven hours during a free-agent recruiting trip to the South Side, the Steelers never lost sight of who they are or what they’re all about.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Turn Your Bath into a Spa with These Oils

Turn Your Bath into a Spa with These Oils

The miniature bath- and shower-oil collection from Aromatherapy Associates makes every shower a luxury experience.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
The CMU Film Fest Opens with One of 2016's Best

The CMU Film Fest Opens with One of 2016's Best

Reviews of two films appearing at the 2017 Carnegie Mellon International Film Festival: "I, Daniel Blake," and "The Eagle Huntress." Plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Combating the Cold: How This Couple Pulled Off Their Winter Wedding

Combating the Cold: How This Couple Pulled Off Their Winter Wedding

Happy to see warmer weather? This gorgeous winter wedding may actually have you missing the snow.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Auction Alert: Own a Piece of Artistry

Auction Alert: Own a Piece of Artistry

Looking for a unique piece? Inventory from Artistry, which closed up shop in the Strip District after more than 25 years in business, will be sold at auction this weekend.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
A New Kind of Summer at Slippery Rock University

A New Kind of Summer at Slippery Rock University

The university will hold an environmental camp at the end of June.

Comments