The Reserve looks great
If you ever went to Charlotte's or The Royal, you'd barely recognize the space now.
The new owners of The Reserve have made a ton of improvements to the building at 1542 Light St. -- inside and out.
They opened up the bricked-in windows, added a new sign (pictured) out front, and built a wood facade on the front of the corner building.
But the most striking renovations happened inside. From the looks of it, everything except the floor, rafters and a couple walls is new.
There are two cement-topped bars inside The Reserve -- one long one as you walk in, and another at the back of the building ...
The taps at the main bar are built into the stone wall. 13.5%, the new wine bar in Hampden, has a similar stone wall, and I wonder if that's the new trend in bar interiors. It's a tasteful nod to the Formstone you (still) see on so many of the nearby rowhouses.
Last night, when my buddy CJ and I went, we ordered one of the specials -- a pitcher of Yuengling for $10. Since you get four beers in a pitcher, give or take, that's $2.50 for a draft Yuengling. Not bad.
The service wasn't bad, either -- there were a bunch of bartenders on duty, and they were pretty attentive.
The one aspect of the decor I didn't like was the floor plan. There is a raised platform by the front bar -- a carryover from the Charlotte's days, I believe -- and if you aren't careful, you will trip on it. There are only a couple pillars at the corners to mark the platform, which is a few inches higher than the floor around it. If people haven't tripped and eaten floor just yet, I'm sure they will.
Back when I first blogged about The Reserve, co-owner Andrew Dunlap said even though the building has a live entertainment license, they weren't going to go crazy with it. Live music has long been a contention with the building's neighbors.
While there wasn't any live music last night, the addition of a DJ booth makes me wonder if they're going to do the Stalking Horse/Nobles thing and hold mini-dance parties on Friday and Saturday nights.
All in all, I'm really impressed with the turnaround. Dunlap and the other owners did a thorough rehab, and I think The Reserve is going to fare much better than Charlotte's.
(Photo by sobojosie)