Thanks to Dana Hollister (4100 Bar, Bordello, Brite Spot, Cliff’s Edge), steampunk is hip at Villain’s Tavern. If you’re looking for a place to lay low, wet your whistle and grab some grub with the summer heat chasing you down, this is your spot. Curiosities abound this eclectic bar. Brightly colored medicine bottles welcome you into the large Gothic bar. A centuries old bar top with vintage mirrors reflect back the knickknacks that adorn the walls. It’s the perfect hideaway; hard to find and even harder to leave.
Hideout upstairs or find a spot on the wonderful outdoor patio, complete with it’s own bar, stage, church pew and patio seating, even a shuffle board. Live music makes an appearance almost every night. You’ll catch downtown locals, east siders, and curious westsiders thanks to Daily Candy and the likes, sipping on specials like a jar of beer and a shot for $8, or a carefully crafted libation using premium spirits, fresh fruits and juices. But drinking a cocktails or a beer out of a mason jar can be tricky for even those most devious of thieves, so beware.
The menu is small, but surprisingly pleasing. Order at the bar, then grab a seat. Start with the deep fried chick peas, dusted with lime and chili, then move on to items like a farro salad, grilled cheese with tamarind sauce, a hot dog with various tempting toppings, or a burger with cave aged cheddar, thick cut smoked bacon, and a bacon cherry marmalade. If you’ve been in lock-up and your sweet tooth is calling, try the bourbon bacon caramel corn or a chocolate pot de creme.
The chick peas were a delightful snack to go with a beer and a shot of bourbon. The burger was tasty, the patty a little thin, but the smoky bacon, cheddar and bacon cherry marmalade were a perfect combination of sweet and salty. We’ve got our new summer hideout.
Villain’s Tavern. Open Wed-Sat 5:30 pm – 2 am. 1356 Palmetto St. Entrance is off Santa Fe Ave.