Uncle’s Bar has remained virtually unchanged in its 25 years of business at Locust & Camac – until now. Steve Carlino, Uncle’s Owner and Principal at the Tavern Group (owners of Tavern on Camac and Terra Restaurant/Ascend Lounge), put in the order this summer to commence renovations at this space, which are estimated to be complete in the next few weeks. At that time, the refreshed establishment will be dubbed “U Bar”.
If you’d ever been to Uncle’s, you may have noticed the decor was neighborhood bar a la Philly: the Feng Shui of thin commercial carpeting, mirrored walls and the Formica bar top; open street-front windows letting in soft, midday light; stiff, cheap drinks and friendly staff.
“We’re all about customers, which is why we’re keeping the renovations clean, cool and simple,” said Randal, Director of Operations at the Tavern Group.
“We’ve done a complete gut of the entire first floor,” Randal said. “It’s a small bar, so the renovations are intended to be properly to scale. Our customers come here for the great priced drinks, great staff and great conversation, so we want the redesign to preserve all that and increase the utility of the space.”
Scheduled renovations include a new ceiling, wide plank hardwood floors, refurbished bathrooms and new large, hinged windows on the west wall.
In addition to the renovations, the Tavern Group plans to make the pre-existing kitchen in Uncles basement operational, meaning that bar food will be part of the U Bar’s offerings.
Uncle’s renovations are in keeping with a current remodeling trend that’s been sweeping “Midtown Village” (Gayborhood) for the past few years. While Woody’s, Voyeur (previously Pure), Tabu (previously Sal’s), ICandy (previously 12th Air Command) have all undergone major transformations, the neighborhood as a whole bears a split personality – posh clubs and cleaned-up neighborhood bars, where U bar intends to fall.
“Still, we believe we can always improve, and I think anyone who has been coming to Uncle’s for years will like the changes we’ve made.” Randal went on the say that the inspiration for changing the name Uncles to U bar is to highlight the bar’s historic attraction – the people in it.