Hours: Sun-Mon 11:30am-10pm, Tues-Thurs 11:30am-11pm, Fri-Sat 11:30am-midnight
So obvious it's not. This giant brewpub is basically split into three bars within a beautifully maintained old-school brewery block building. It's the closest thing the Pearl District has to a casual neighborhood gathering spot, and as such, it's generally bustling with activity. At first glance it always looks too crowded and therefore too loud, but the sheer enormity of the space saves the day. You can almost always find two seats together at the upstairs bar in particular, and the ceilings are so damn high that they magically dissipate the din just enough to hear your companion. They also serve the kind of large-portioned grub that always sounds delicious after a few (quesadillas, pizza)... plus a somewhat puzzlingly decent selection of vegan food. MARJORIE SKINNER
Any uppity bar worth its salt has a great snack plate, and Bridgeport's is one of the best and freshest. Sandwiches and salads also score high points here, like the savory pulled pork sandwich or the asparagus and steak salad. You can also choose from several pizza options, one of the few remnants of the old BrewPub (pre-massive renovation) besides the beer. Beyond that, it's a whole new world.
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