Nov 13, 2014

G's Pizzeria: It's got the smallest barroom in town, with no games but a big TV, big meatballs and wine

G's: A restaurant with a cozy barroom
The hairy guy's report:

The world has some small bars. For instance, there's the Smallest Whiskey Bar on Earth (yes, that's its name), which is in Switzerland. And there's the Nutshell in Suffolk, England; it measures 15 feet by 7 feet and has a mummified cat hanging from the ceiling.

The closest we can get is the barroom at G's Pizzeria downtown, which does have whiskey but lacks a dead cat.

Yes, G's is really a restaurant, not a bar. But its side room qualifies as a bar on its own. The seating capacity is just 13 -- six stools at the bar and two tables (one with three seats, though you could snag another from the hall).

On a busy restaurant night, you could easily sneak in a dead cat if you had one handy. More likely, you might be in the mood one afternoon to sneak just yourself into a corner for a drink and something to eat. 

If you take the closest seat to the wall at the first table, hardly anyone could see you. You could drink to your heart's content without likely being bothered.

Of course, if that's what you were after, you could just stay home and drink. And you might not want a TV blaring next to you, which is what you'll get here. On the other hand, if you're
The TV, reminding us to brush our teeth
aiming for a private rendezvous, the TV would help drown out the conversation.

At any rate, this is not a carousing type of place for a good burger and a cheap beer.

There are no games. No jukebox. Decorations are two fake plants, a model ship (the Charles W. Morgan from 1841, according to the plaque), a couple of beer signs and a snazzy old photo of a bunch of guys staring in awe at a woman in heels.

The view out the front window is of a parking lot, the back of some buildings on Washington and the front of the federal building (or, to be formal, the United States Post Office, Court House and Custom House, according to the building's inscription).

But it's a rare place where you can actually sit at a bar and stuff yourself with all sorts of real food. We're fond of G's pizzas and its big meatball sandwich (which comes with thick-cut chips and a pickle) but the menu includes such things as ravioli and raspberry almond chicken.

And if you want a big-screen TV almost in your face (like perhaps you want to become one
Shawn on the job at G's
with a football game or an afternoon talk show), this is the place to do it. 

Shawn, the friendly waitress at G's, says the barroom gets some regulars during the day and that her mother was a bartender there for years, back when the place was Terry & Jerry's O Sole Mio. When we got in at the end of a lunch hour one weekday, a couple of guys were on their way out, and a woman sat for a bit at the bar.

The barroom keeps the same hours as the restaurant -- 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 11 p.m. Sunday.

On draft are pints of Bud Light ($2.25), Killian's ($2.50) and a seasonal Leinenkugel (vanilla porter when we stopped in, $3.25). Assorted bottled domestic and craft beers are available. Among them was, from Griffin Claw Brewing in Birmingham, Norm's Raggedy Ass (a cute name
Model ship inside, parking lot out
considering Birmingham's demographics. You can easily visualize a bunch of investment bankers feeling like they're slumming it with a tall cold Raggedy Ass in an upscale tavern); it's $4. A bottle of Miller Lite is $2.75. 

There was no sweet vermouth, so the hairy guy couldn't get a Manhattan. But this is an Italian place, and assorted wines are available by the glass, for $4-6. There are wine specials on Thursday nights.

And now that winter is coming, a stop here for a bowl of hot soup and a glass of wine would be a good idea on a too-cold afternoon. 

But if the lack of game potential or sweet vermouth eventually gets to you, just pay your bill, leave a good tip and head across the parking lot to Jake's Corner Bar (as we did). There, Joni can make you a Manhattan (or just about anything else) and you can shoot pool or play shuffleboard. But sorry, no dead cats there either.


See Doc's report: A tale of two sittings: A visit to G's, and on to Jake's

   The particulars:
   G's Pizzeria
   1005 Saginaw St.

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