A new bar-restaurant dubbing itself the "Living Room of Uptown" is moving into a familiar address on McKinney Avenue. Called Eastwood's Bar, it'll open in mid-March in the former Belly & Trumpet space at 3407 McKinney Ave. It will offer a simple menu, craft cocktails, brunch, live music, and a patio that welcomes people and dogs alike.
Owners include Pablo Ramirez and a silent partner; general manager is Chris Henley, who brings her mixology skills from her previous stint at Bowen House.
Spokesman Dan Hunt says that they want the place to be a comfortable neighborhood bar that feels like an extension of your living room. There'll be a simple menu of about 15 items and a few desserts, and of course, brunch. There must be brunch.
"It'll be elevated but straightforward, nothing too over-the-top, but enough to get people interested," Hunt says.
Ramirez says that they're going for a slightly healthier vibe than the usual bar food. "No wings," he says. "It'll be better than the stereotypical bar food, with hummus, wraps, and a fun chicken waffle sandwich."
The bar honors a certain macho actor, Ramirez says. "I used to own a dog who would jump around and bark when I used to put on his movies," he says.
The dog thing is big. Henley is also a dog person, and one of their first philanthropy events will be a Paws in the City benefit on April 2.
"We do want to emphasize our dog-friendly patio," Hunt says. "We'll have a little fountain, and dog bones. Mutt's Cantina is eventually going to be destroyed, they're building an apartment complex. We won't have as much space, but we will have a fenced-in area that can fit 10 to 15 dogs." [Note: Mutt's Cantina owner Kyle Noonan clarifies that there are still eight years left on their lease.]
The space was most recently a short-lived bar called Uptown Pawn, whose distinctive pawn-shop theme included the option to buy antiques right off the wall. The Eastwood's group is uncowed by the fact that the location has seen other concepts come and go.
"Belly & Trumpet used to be a fun spot for double dates," Hunt says. "But we've got a great team together, and we're doing something new."