I'm not so sure my first impression of Cliff's Bar and Grill was a good one. When The Loon closed earlier this year, Cliff Gonzalez warned me the new bar would be different. "You'll never be able to duplicate what's been here for this long," he said, back at the old place before it closed. He's right, and I didn't expect to encounter decades of history faithfully re-created blocks away in Uptown. I just didn't expect his next watering hole to be THAT different.
A simple fried bologna sandwich illuminated by the flicker of CNN at Cliff's
Cliff's, which is destined to be referred to as The New Loon for months if not years to come, is presently going through a soft opening. Bartenders are still figuring out how to work the point of sales system, communication with the kitchen is achieved via tin cans and string, the menu is still sparse -- those sorts of things. But the sharp corners and rough edges haven't been enough to keep the old timers at bay. Jacquie behind the bar says they've been knocking on the door for days waiting for the place to be open. While The Loon, or whatever it's called, rested through a long summer and fall, The Regulars have been quietly holding vigil.More »