Fat Cat On The North Side Is A Slice of 70s and 80s (And Tasty!) Fun
The casual East Ohio Street eatery is owned by the folks behind Fig & Ash.
I walked into Fat Cat at 520 E. Ohio Street and into my childhood living room.
The North Side eatery has a distinctly suburban ’70s vibe and, if you grew up in the ’80s, you know it well. Lots of orange and brown. Rotary phones. Furniture-sized record players. Knob-and-tube televisions.VCRs. Bob Ross-style art. Hideous couches.
Welcome home, Boomers and Gen Xers! The place is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. The kitchen closes at 10 each night.
Fat Cat’s decor is a combination of your dad’s garage (the back bar is a giant peg board and the beer fridge is stocked) and mom’s home sweet home (macrame … everywhere!).
Aside from the Billy Joel tunes spinning, the spot opened quietly on June 28.
Owners Cory Hughes and Alex Feltovich, who also run neighboring restaurant Fig & Ash, wanted to offer a fun, affordable destination in Deutschtown. The former JR’s Bar is now a multi-level rumpus room, complete with a performance space and an Astro-Turf deck where you’ll soon be able to play cornhole and other backyard games.
The second-floor Fat Cat Music Hall is expected to debut during the Northside Music Festival July 14-16. The stage will welcome an array of artists, from comedy acts and drag performers to bluegrass bands. Each night, Fat Cat’s final hour of service is dedicated to the music of the Wu-Tang Clan.
Order at the front counter past the bar, grab a table number and have a seat in the dining room or two of the lounge areas. There are house cocktails and a Bingo Night mocktail made with pineapple, lemon, hibiscus syrup, tonic and salt. The Dude’s Breakfast is a boozy tribute to “The Big Lebowski.” It combines cinnamon-infused cream bourbon, coffee vodka and cold brew.
Your taste buds will abide by the food menu as well.
I sat at the long bar and ordered an I.C. Light draft and My Crispy Bologna served on a Tupperware plate. You can’t go wrong with two slices of sourdough bread stacked with mortadella, cheddar cheese, kettle chips (on the sammich and on the side), Dijonaise and pickled peppers. It reminds me of summer lunches after a morning spent swimming in the neighbor’s pool.
I happily devoured it while watching Cartoon Network like a 10-year-old with permission to drink beer.
Each day, Fat Cat gives away a random trophy to a deserving customer (the first guy in the door on Wednesday got the inaugural award). I’ve made it my personal mission to get one for “The Highest Number of Calories Consumed In One Sitting.”
You can also munch on loaded pork wings, onion rings, a patty melt and waffle fries with smoked chicken thigh, pickled peppers and bacon-onion jam. Vegans can chow down on the Buffalo Seitan Nugz Wrap with ranch-scented cabbage, celery slaw and pickled carrot.
There’s a popcorn machine popping out snacks flavored with vegan-friendly cashew parmesan and nutritional yeast. In addition to giving folks from all walks of life a place to dine, Hughes and Feltovich will partner with the North Side’s Light of Life Rescue Mission to provide entry-level restaurant job training to the unhoused.
Fat Cat has a big heart.
Want to get even sweeter? I recommend the Elvis Split, a deep-fried PB&J Uncrustable with vanilla ice cream, candied bacon caramel and bruleed banana.
Try it. You’ll thankmeverymuch.