Half Sour—the old Blackie's space, oh man am I gonna miss those $1 watermelon shots—had a soft opening this weekend, and holy moly was it good!
The new owners didn't mess with the space too much. They didn't have to. They could have, but thankfully they didn't, and it's just about the right brick-and-timber SoLo/Printers Row vibe you'd expect from old stock in our hood.
They glitzed it up behind the bar a smidge with soft white Miami Beach tiles and soft LED lighting, they splurged on a few new TVs (I'm not a fan at all, but I also do recognize which city I live in...), and then had their tile guy lay down a new law in the bathroom for good measure. Tables and chairs are also new, and nondescript, and thankfully they didn't mess with that solid, gorgeous bar.
The place seems to be run by fourteen-year-olds—albeit fourteen-year-olds who can cook up some mean food. Good cocktail menu, solid wine list, beers that'll make you smile and quench your thirst, and all at a reasonable price.
The menu itself looks deceptively salad- and sandwich-heavy, but my companion and I split a bunch of small plates, all of which were excellent/excellent plus.
Fried smelts, pickled beets, a brussel sprouts salad that was crunchy and lip-smacking all at once, and a jar of marinated eggplant to put on your thick slices of toast. It was a perfect meal. I'm definitely looking forward to going back and trying their burgers and other salads and whatever else.
When you gaze into their kitchen as you're strolling down Polk, you see a bunch of (gender-neutral) dudes in an exploded science lab working with a few tiny plastic food-grade buckets and a Betty Crocker oven for kids.
All the more reason to love this new addition to the hood. While in sentimental principle we mourn the loss of another dive-y place in the SoLo—well, Blackie's was no George's. Plus, it still stands, now prouder than ever!
(Hat tip: MM!)