Kraftwork in Fishtown: Pub or art gallery?

My vote for the most stunning new restaurant is not the kitschy fun that is El Rey, or the drama that is R2L, or the sexiness that permeates Chifa -- but a humbler endeavor.

It's Kraftwork, a corner bar opening Friday 5/7 at Girard and Montgomery Avenues in Fishtown with 24 beer lines (plus a 25th from a hand pump). Adam Ritter, who owns Sidecar at 22d and Christian Streets, is operating it for the family that owns the building. The family is in the steel and iron business in New Jersey.

I can't tell if it's a pub or an art gallery, and frankly that doesn't matter. The look harkens perfectly to Fishtown's blue-collar past.

Sculptor Andrew Jevremovic, who knocked out La Colombe's two NYC salons, created everything, from the tiger maple-and-steel bar to the carved maple tables and chairs, using stuff from the family's yard in South Jersey.

The walls of the former old man shot-and-beer was stripped down, layer by layer, to expose brick, fleur-de-lis wallpaper, horsehair and plaster, and pipes. Check out the restrooms.

Menu is not quite done; chef is Michael Thomas, formerly of Bar Ferdinand.

Photos here are by The Inquirer's Ron Tarver.

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