March 1, 2007

The Bar Belle

The circle of lifeAs the fate of three Fourth Street Live bars looms in court right now, two bars across the river have recently been resurrected and resurfaced into better-than-ever neighborhood watering holes. Jeffersonville’s Jimmy’s on the River and New Albany’s The Menu Bar & Grill (formerly The Main Menu) are now open and look rejuvenated, clean and spunky as a freshly Botoxed soccer mom.Jimmy’s (100 W. Riverside Drive, 282-2810) closed up shop last November for what we were told would be a brief reconstruction and cleaning. It was under new ownership, but they promised they’d reopen in a few weeks. Weeks went by, as did months. Rumors swirled that the space was going to be turned into condos. I bit my nails and prayed that Jimmy’s would one day return to its spot on the banks of the Ohio. Those prayers were answered on Feb. 1 when Jimmy’s opened its doors to eager neighbors and regulars. Thankfully, not much has changed — the prices, for the most part, the menu and the layout are the same — except for its much-needed scrubbing. New carpets, new light fixtures, new floors and new bathrooms (gone is the cigarette-charred baby-changing station in the downstairs women’s bathroom, thank god!) light up the place. Jimmy’s unbelievable specials also remain — $2 bloody marys and 99-cent margaritas on Sundays; $1.50 wells on Tuesdays; and $1.25 (up from $1) domestic bottles on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays. The Menu (3306 Plaza Drive, 948-6501) has been showing off its facelift for a few months now, having reopened Thanksgiving Eve. The main bar room is now fancy and comforting — hardwood floors, black leather sofas, comfortable bar stools and two flat-screen TVs make the space seem more like an upscale bistro than a neighborhood dive. There’s still that funky garage door dividing the space that goes up when bands play on Saturday nights.Some specials worth noting — $8 domestic bottle buckets on Thursdays; $1 bottles on Sundays; and $10 pitchers of AMF (“Adios Mother Fuckers,” a popular drink borrowed from the Upstairs Pub in Bloomington) on Fridays and Saturdays.Welcome back, my friends.March is finally here! I’ll drink to that. E-mail me at shavens@leoweekly.com