Bar profile: Rafters Beer Pub

  • Photos by Jeffry Konczal
From the July 5, 2012 edition

Hopefully by now all of you out there have your power back after Storm-pocalypse 2012. If not, I wish you the best. Anyway, Rafters Beer Pub is a place that didn’t let losing power shut it down.

As I drove to Rafters on Sunday night to finish up reporting, Indianola Avenue was a dark landscape of downed power lines and tree wreckage. I thought there was no way Rafters would have power and I’d have to wait to write about this underrated spot. Then I saw a flicker of light inside as I drove by.

With the front and back doors open (to create a cross-breeze, no doubt) a ragtag crowd of regulars was sitting by candlelight, conversing and laughing. Even under these uncomfortable circumstances, Rafters felt like the same old comfortable place it’s always been.

The quaint neighborhood spot near Clintonville lost power Friday evening, but it stayed open to serve its dedicated patrons. Kudos to you, Rafters. If there were ever people who needed cold drinks, it was those who lost their air conditioning during 90-plus degree heat.

Rafters carries an extensive selection of beers — and at some of the best prices in the city. The drafts are Yuengling, Budweiser, Bud Light and Miller Lite, and they’re only $1.75, or $1.50 during happy hour. For a 25-ounce mug it’s $3, or $2.50 during happy hour. If you’re looking for crafts and import beers, Rafter has a good selection of bottles ($2.75-$4).

If you’re not a beer drinker, I’ve got a story for you. While enjoying Rafter’s excellent jukebox a couple of weeks ago, a friendly bartender helped my special lady friend decide on a beverage. He recommended we split his signature drink, a 25-ounce Garbage Can ($11) — limit two.

The Long Island Iced Tea-inspired cocktail — only more colorful thanks to some Blue Curacao — has a Red Bull tossed in upside down so it refills the drink as you try to polish it off. There we were, sipping two straws like a couple of kids with a milkshake on “Happy Days.” We had a great time … and took a cab home.