Bada Bing’s recent move from one Chippewa location to another could have been the best thing to ever happen to the business. The move also bodes well for the street. Bada Bing has suddenly reopened as a swank sports club with more flat screen TVs than you can shake a stick at. As my friend told me upon arriving to the establishment, if you’re going to be a sports bar, you might as well go all out. But this might not be your typical sports bar. On Friday during happy hour, the place was filled with an assortment of people, from suits to post-college types, who appeared to be more interested in the food and the drinks than the games that were being played all around them.
Bada Bing seems to be going the way of the street in general. There are more and more establishments on Chippewa investing money into their concepts, and it’s beginning to show. Bada Bing was fairly busy on Friday for happy hour, and the general consensus among patrons was that the place was done up extremely well.
There are sturdy metal railings and stairs, custom steel design elements seen in the window rails and the condiment holders, a cluster of disco balls, a new patio (installed and opened over the weekend – not pictured*), some banquet seating, a fire element, brilliant blue lighting behind the bar – the bar has great flow and lends to a comfortable visit, especially with the two levels – and a miniature jumbo-tron that hangs from the ceiling (with spinning red light when the home team scores). Of course there are still a few of the memorable Bada Bing-isms that are somewhat more subtle due to their rotating placement on the jumbo-tron.
Even the Bada Bing mascot (the logo) got a more artistic treatment in the form of an industrial wall hanging that graces the front entrance.
If you know anything about Bada Bing, then you know that they have really good pub food (see here), from pizza to burgers. Now that they have brought the place up to speed, the food will definitely play a more important role in the business. Just looking around, it’s the type of place that now feels as much restaurant as it does bar (especially upstairs).
Thankfully these guys filled another lifeless building on Chippewa, and successfully turned it into the kind of place that could be anywhere in the city, not just the Chippewa District… there’s even a kid’s menu if that tells you anything.
The only thing that I would have done differently is a redo of the lower facade. At some point along the line the building’s original character was covered up with some sorta nasty stucco material. Other than that, the new garage doors on the patio do a great job of opening the place up and adding vibrancy to the street. I look forward to heading back to sample one of the pizzas upstairs in the dining area, or outside on the patio.
Now if The City could get busy redoing the streetscape on Chippewa – then we would really be on a roll.
*We biked by yesterday (Sunday), and for the first time that I can remember there was action on the street while the sun was still out, thanks to a handful of bars and restaurants that are now catering to an older clientele during the day instead of solely concentrating on the 4am rebel rousers.