Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

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 Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

“Double Dare Live” Coming to Pittsburgh

The live version of the Nickelodeon game show makes its last stop of a nationwide tour in the ‘Burgh this fall.

The 5 Best Movie Theaters in Pittsburgh

A movie-going experience is about more than just the movie. PM Film Critic Sean Collier takes a break from movie reviews and shares the best spots for cocktails, classics and comfort.

Fish nor Fowl Now Taking Reservations

The new restaurant from the Richard DeShantz Restaurant Group will soft-open later this week.

New Book Makes Crafters the 'Life of the Party'

The newest book from Lily & Val owner Valerie McKeehan includes more than 100 hand-drawn, tear-out paper cards, menus and tags that can be used for hosting a gathering.

"You Are My Friend" Looking for Extras in Pittsburgh

The Tom Hanks-led film will begin production in the Pittsburgh area this fall.

Perfect Presentations: Our Cookie Table Contest Winner and Runners-Up

These couples took the classic cookie table and made it their own with beautiful — and delicious — displays.

Come and Explore Wilkinsburg’s Divine History

The Sacred Spaces Tour takes visitors to the borough’s churches, mosques and historic buildings.

Waste Not: Kelly Lane's Fashion Designs are Eco-Chic

After noting how much fabric ends up in landfills, Pittsburgh designer Kelly Simpson-Scupelli found a way to incorporate the unused scraps into her fashion line.

Three Rivers Champion: Sloane Davidson

Davidson started an organization that gives refugee and immigrant families aid based on real, person-to-person relationships, not transactions.

The 400-Word Review: Alpha

The prehistoric drama is here to answer a question no one asked about the world's first-ever dog.

“Night of the Living Dead” to Appear on the Big Screen Again

The cult classic will be screened at the Byham Theater in honor of the 50th anniversary of its debut.

The 400-Word Review: Crazy Rich Asians

The light romcom is made for pleasing audiences — and in that respect, it succeeds.

Enix Brewing Company Set to Open in Homestead

Owners David and Victor Rodriguez also operate two breweries in Madrid, Spain.

Revisiting Fat Head's

The South Side stalwart punches above its weight thanks to good beer and gigantic sandwiches.

In Ben They Trust

Going into his 15th professional season, Steelers' quarterback Ben Roethlisberger remains the key to a successful season.