Dewey’s Restaurant & Sports Bar – Racine, WI


019When a new restaurant opens in Racine, I mentally jump up and down clapping my hands like a kid at Disney World.  Alright, so maybe it isn’t just mentally. But who can blame me?? It is not very often that we get something new which isn’t the old same ole chain eateries. Plus, I likey my food.

Needless to say, I was looking forward to trying out Dewey’s Restaurant and Sports Bar on the corner of 6th and Main Streets in Downtown Racine. And after several weeks of its doors opening, I finally tried it out last Saturday afternoon.

It was pretty slow, but that is what I expected for a late afternoon lunch. Upon walking in, there is a full bar to the right and tables (no booths) throughout the large room. Exposed brick, many flat screen TVs, a wall of display windows and high ceilings gives it a contemporary but cold look and feel. It just felt…well…new. Even the coffee station in the back of the room was merely a folding table with boxes stored beneath it.

We weren’t sure at first if we were suppose to choose our own table or wait to be seated. There was no sign and no one acknowledged us until we decided to just sit at the bar – which itself was very nice. I also noticed that the carved wooden coasters were made in the USA. Cool.

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018I ordered a bloody mary (always the test of a good tavern) and my husband had a beer from one of their many taps. The bartender asked me if I wanted all the fixins and I was like “What the hell do you think?” Ok. I didn’t really say that. But I did say “Ummm YEP!” Nothing worse than a plain ole liquid-only bloody. I was actually quite happy with it. Very good flavor – not too spicy or mild. Had a beef stick, two pickle spears and an olive. Gotta love an appetizer that gives you a buzz. I only wish it had a celery stalk. I realize this is a seemingly insignificant complaint but I will keep giving it until our local bars start including THE DAMN CELERY!!

027We looked at the menu for quite some time before finally ordering. The offerings consisted mostly of burgers, sandwiches and appetizers. Typical tavern fare with some special touches such as their stuffed burgers and choice of french fry flavorings (say THAT three times really fast).

I ordered the Make Your Own Burger option (with Sweet Potato Fries) because I am a simple gal and while a bloody mary is a good test for bars – burgers are a good test for kitchens. I ordered it medium rare and it was cooked perfectly. When meat is not cooked as requested, it feel insulted. Like a big carnivorous slap across the chops. I see it as the cook either not giving a shit about my order OR the cook assuming I won’t notice the difference. Well, I do. And I did. And thanks for the pink middle! It was actually quite juicy and tasty.

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My husband ordered the Asiago Reuben with Rosemary & Sea Salt French Fries. He said that he liked it…that it was okay, but wasn’t all that thrilled. Someone at the bar had suggested it and perhaps hyped it up a bit too much. I didn’t try it because I HATE reubens. And unfortunately he isn’t the most descriptive guy in the world. So we will have to go with “okay”.

Once we sat down, the staff was friendly and fairly attentive. I did want to ask a couple of questions, but there really wasn’t that usual bartender banter and I didn’t want to call him down just to bother him with my silly inquisitions. But they were nice enough. And someone who appeared to be a manager asked us how everything was at one point.

It would be nice if they could find a way to make it a more comfortable place. It is just so open and cold…like a big lobby. Not into it. But the bar area is pretty impressive. And I sure wish they didn’t have those gambling machines in the dining area. So tacky. But most places like this do these days. It is very weird to be eating a burger in the same building where I tried on wedding dresses a decade ago (sigh…I’m old).

I really liked my bloody mary – even without the celery. And I enjoyed my burger. But nothing else on the menu really grabbed me. Nothing I really wanted to try to be very honest with you. More variety would be a plus.

I linked Dewey’s Facebook page above, but as far as I can tell there is no website. While I give them major props for taking advantage of social media (every business really needs to get on this train already or they will be left at the station crying in their newspaper ads) they should develop a website. A website (or lack thereof) can really make a significant first impression.

Parking can suck. This is downtown and there is not a parking lot. So BRING CHANGE…you will be plugging a meter. Although the location is a good one and it will be nice to people watch in the warmer months. I am sure that being across from Monument Square and only blocks from the shore – they should have no problem filling the seats in the summer.

One thing that was kind of weird…we had to pay two bills. The food bill had to be separate from the bar bill. And even though we were sitting at the bar, a server had to take our order and bring our food. This is a silly policy and they need to work on a better solution. There was only one table sat and several people at the bar. The bartender should be cross trained and the server should have been able to leave. I sure hope she wasn’t just making 2.33 an hour to serve us when she couldn’t even get tipped on the alcohol.

Prices are about average and what you would expect from any similar establishment. We each had a sandwich, he had three tappers and I had one bloody. We spent about $43 including tip.

I will definitely be  returning at some point – especially with all the time we seem to spend downtown. It will be nice to see how they settle in and make a name for themselves.

I give Dewey’s 2.5 out of 5 burps (keep in mind that no one will EVER get a 5 and if they do…buy stock).

2_5Burps

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