Bar profile: Rehab Tavern

  • Photo by Meghan Ralston
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From the January 10, 2013 edition

As Franklinton continues its redevelopment efforts, former hole-in-the-wall Three Deuces Bar being transformed into a hip new hangout signals welcomed progress. The Rehab Tavern — a playful name derived from the bar’s renovations — opened about a month ago and is already seeing success. Manager John Crispi said there’s been a steady flow of patrons; neighborhood artists, downtown lawyers and even a couple dressed to the nines celebrating their wedding anniversary.

Most visitors to Rehab Tavern are coming to check out the spectacular renovations. If you’d ever hung out at Three Deuces, you probably won’t recognize much. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t remnants of the 40-year-old bar. An old Three Deuces sign hangs behind the bar and all the original furniture was refurbished with local artist Kevin Bickle’s custom designs.

The extensive renovations — which feature many different elements, but don’t feel disjointed — boast a number of standout elements. The cobbled wood bar top that’s inlayed with smaller remnants of Three Deuces looks stunning, but also has DIY grit aesthetic. The glossy basketball flooring, purchased from Mendon High School in Van Wert, Ohio, is worth every bit of the effort that must have gone in to adding it. The tavern also plans to rotate artwork on its walls from local artists every few weeks.

Enough about the stylish décor, Rehab Tavern is a good place to grab a drink. A dozen beers on tap offer the ever-popular PBR ($2) and solid selection of rotating crafts ($4.75-5.75). Rehab also boasts some quality (if underrated) whiskeys, highlighted by Jim Beam Rye — the best of its ilk on the market. Most shots are nicely priced at $3, $4 or $5 with the premium stuff going for a couple bucks more, at most. Happy hour specials and a cocktail list are in the works and should be available soon.

Rehab Tavern offers a few food items as well. The appetizers ($5) feature chicken wings, Jack & Blue Cheese Stix and deep-fried chips. Paninis (Cuban, Italian, turkey melt and Turkey Rueben) are $6.50.