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Boozing in Bridgeport at Maria’s

Posted by Lauren Viera ( Tribune The Stew)

Tonight is the official opening of Maria’s Packed Goods & Community Bar, the newly rehabbed watering hole located in the oft-frequented liquor store/dive bar formerly known as Kaplan’s Liquors.

As we reported earlier this month, Maria’s borrows its name from Kaplan’s owner Maria Marszewski, who after 25 years has passed the torch to sons — and occasional bartenders — Mike and Ed. (Man-about-town Ed Marszewski is co-director of the non-profit run Co-Prosperity Sphere cultural center down the street.)

New bars open up all the time, but we’re especially excited about Maria’s because of the DIY artistic details worked into its rebirth — no surprise given Ed’s reputation as an art and design enthusiast. Enter the bar by walking into an old art deco cooler, and admire a collection of chandeliers fashioned from old amber beer bottles. Hand-crafted butcher block tables and recycled hardwood benches provide the seating, and local artists’ work dons the walls.

Ten beers are on tap, 99 bottles of beer are on the, er, in the fridge, cocktails rotate monthly, and the packaged-goods cooler features take-out whiskey, wine and spirits in addition to obligatory 12-packs.

Tonight, eclectic performers Bobby Conn and Julie Pomerleau break in the new space with Joe Bryl on the decks. The fun begins at 7pm.

Maria’s Packaged  Goods & Community Bar, 960 W. 31st St., 773-890-0588

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