Why I Like This Bar at Union Public House

Jason Anderson is a smart architect and designer. He's also one of the owners of the new restaurant Union Public House at St. Philip's Plaza. These things appear to be working well together.

Consider, for instance, this stainless steel bar that was just installed at the restaurant. Anderson has said it will include both built-in hooks to hang purses and coats on and outlets where one can recharge computers and cell phones. Like I said, Anderson is a smart designer and he's designed a smart bar and restaurant.

Other interesting details abound as well, such as reupholstered furniture from a Golden Corral; tables made of old-growth Douglas fir and alligator juniper; vintage gas lamps; the list goes on.

After talking with Anderson you realize quickly that the man loves what he does. "I call this 'old school industrial Western chic,'" he says with a smile, before launching into a description of the design for the bathrooms, which he has also paid immaculate attention to.

I can't really explain what he's up to inside that building - a listing of the design ingredients he's employing will not give it proper treatment - so let's just say that it is modern and comfortable, and the kind of place I can imagine spending time in.

So the restaurant is going to look nice, and there's going to be lots of different beers served at a cool modern bar, and one of the guys from Maynard's Market and Kitchen has been brought on as well as other top talent. They've also hired Chris Thompson as general manager (he used to manage Putney's and several resorts).

When you put all of this together and add in some floor-to-ceiling wine racks, an outdoor fireplace, extended patios and probably the best inaugural menu I've ever laid eyes on, you start to get excited, which I am. We hear the opening is expected to happen in the last week of October. It will not be easy to wait that long.