Preservation Pub Moves On Up

A new upstairs lounge offers a smoke-free place to talk

Regulars of Market Square's Preservation Pub have doubtless already explored the plush new upstairs digs, under construction during the fall and finally open to the public on Dec. 13. The new upper room appears to have been worth the wait, providing patrons with a comfortable, classy alternative to the more rugged and rustic downstairs hall, where bands play and the majority of the bar's capacity is located.

The upstairs features 10 booths and a lounge area, the latter of which is appointed with a funky variety of plush sofas, enveloping loveseats, giant cushions, rattans, and cube seats. And the decor is impressive, from the wall-sized banners of historical figures to the colorfully plaited booth lights to the exquisite bathroom tiles.

"We wanted the downstairs to be livelier, with livelier colors," says Bernadette West, the Pub's entertainment coordinator. "We had the upstairs done in more cool blues. It's more nocturnal and calm; that's what we had in mind."

Accordingly, many will appreciate the fact that it's possible to carry on a conversation upstairs, even in the throes of a loud performance below. It's also non-smoking—the smoking issue being one element that kept many non-smokers from spending more time there.

West says the upstairs will host stand-up comedy on Sunday, Jan. 16. If that venture is successful, comedy will become a regular feature, every third Sunday of the month, West says.

West also notes that the makeshift upstairs bar, which currently only serves a handful of bottled beers, is only temporary, and should be replaced with a real bar in February. That month should also see the Pub outfitted with a kitchen, where it will continue to serve happy hour pizzas (which are currently prepared at Oodles), panini sandwiches, and baked fries.

But the Pub renovations aren't through. Despite the Historic Zoning Commission's decision earlier this month not to allow construction of a roof deck above the Pub building, West is still pursuing the project, which she says she will present to the commission again. She says her goal is to have the deck open by Earth Day on April 22. Special features would include an organic herb garden on the alley side of the building, and several solar panels.

"We'd like to be able to cook solar-powered pizzas," West says. "But really, right now we're just real happy about the second floor opening up. Everybody loves it—the non-smoking, and the fact that its not as noisy. And it's two more bathrooms."