Maharaja Hookah Cafe, at 506 Fremont Street, has finally been replaced. The new gastropub that takes its place, called Park on Fremont, had it’s grand opening at the end of March. A few short days later (after the crowd dissipated a bit) we wandered in to take a look. I’m not sure what they’ve been smoking in there since the hookah lounge closed.
Our visit was a short one, but I can tell you a few things: The food coming out of the kitchen looked good, and diners seemed happy. Cocktails are served in mason jars. The decor is unique and interesting. There’s Lewis Carroll inspired artwork everywhere, there’s a mounted deer head with copper assault rifles for antlers (I can’t make this stuff up), and behind the bar is what can only be described as a twisted taxidermist’s collage. Even the restrooms are wildly decorated. Music leans towards 90’s grunge. It’s all a bit of a trip.
I dragged my girlfriend in here for a beer after a couple of happy hour cocktails across the street at Downtown Cocktail Room (liquor before beer, you’re in the clear). We sat at the copper topped bar, admired the copulating birds in the taxidermy display, and gaped at the beer list. Park on Fremont has the strangest beer list I have ever seen. Most bars either carry a bunch of the standard macro-brews (Bud, Coors, Corona, etc.) and maybe one or two of the bigger microbrews/imports (Newcastle, Sam) or they carry almost exclusively micros, with maybe one or two macros. Not this place. This is the something-for-everyone beer bar.
Whether you’re a gangsta looking for some Colt 45, a hipster looking for a PBR, a hop-head looking for Dogfish 120 minute IPA or a Belgian beer snob looking for a glass of Chimay Cinq Cents – this place has what you’re looking for. There are roughly sixty beers on their list, some 40’s, some cans, some bottles and some drafts. The only organization to the beer list is that drafts are stacked at the end – not that the drafts are marked or anything, they just seem to all be in the bottom right corner of the list. Otherwise there’s Schlitz next to the Chimay, Moosehead next to Young’s. It’s chaotic.
Our friendly bartender brought us our beers (a Tetley’s ($6 pint can) and a Shift ($5 12oz can), cracked open. No glass was provided. We paid, tipped and left after just one beer. No doubt we’ll be back, though. I’m eager to try out the food, and this place has, by far, the broadest selection of beers downtown. I look forward to doing some additional “research” for a full fledged write-up sometime soon. Stay tuned.
- Park of Fremont opens at 11am daily.
- There are no prices on their drink menus, so ask before you order if you’re watching your budget.
- I am not a fan of Bloody Marys, but I understand this place has a killer version, made with bacon infused vodka. Give it a try and click “Leave a Reply” to tell us all about it.
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