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What to Drink at La Peg, Opening August 25 at Race Street and Columbus Boulevard

Bistrot la Minette chef-owner Peter Woolsey has his latest, La Peg, just about ready for its Monday, August 25 launch.

The new French brasserie inspired bar and restaurant takes up residence inside the same century old former pumping station at Columbus Boulevard and Race Street that houses the FringeArts HQ.

Once up and fully running, La Peg and its outdoor bar and beer garden (more on that ahead) will play multiple roles, from serving as Fringe’s Festival Bar and cabaret to a great place to grab a pre-theater bite or gather for post-performance cocktails. Or just simply a dining destination with great panoramic views of the Delaware River waterfront and the Ben Franklin Bridge.

The two-story space has a 16-seat bar, high-top tables and plenty of standing room, plus a 100 more seats for dining on the ground floor. There’s also a Fringe Arts’ Cabaret stage tucked away. Along the Race Street side, doors open out to the patio and outdoor bar. Upstairs, there’s additional tables for dinner guests and a small lounge.

General Manager Mike Slavin took the lead in developing La Peg’s drink program, which boasts a broad range of options priced for every drinking budget. Eight taps at the bar will pour everything from Kronenbourg Blanc to econo-pilsner Lionshead, which Woolsey affectionately refers to as “the world’s best tasting cheap, shitty beer.” The other six lines will run a mix of European imports and local craft brews. There will be 25-plus more available in cans and bottles.

The cocktails stick close to the classics with occasional theater-inspired twists. For example the jalapeno-infused Mr. Sands gets its name from backstage jargon for a fire in the house. Slavin said the bar’s well will be stocked with higher end bottles like Tito’s vodka, Beefeater Gin, Don Q rums and the like. There’s also going to be an extensive cognac list, which Woolsey hopes one day will be the city’s largest.

Like its predecessor, the Bella Vista-based Bistrot La Minette, La Peg’s wine list will offer a wide selection of French wines from off-the-beaten-path to familiar labels from France’s better-known regions.

The French-ish menu will feature mostly small, very drink-friendly plates like tartares, raw bar selections, and cheese, plus sandwiches and a killer burger. Larger entree-sized options include Choucroute Garnie and steak frites. Thrifty diners will surely find the $30, three-course prix fixe a bargain.

In the days ahead, Woolsey and company will put the finishing touches on La Peg’s a 3,000 square foot patio that will be home to a beer garden with a 40-seat bar constructed from an old shipping container. Groundswell Design Group's David Fierabend, who created the outdoor areas at Talula’s Garden, Spruce Street Harbor Park and Independence Beer Garden, will work his al fresco magic to create a festive open air oasis on the once barren corner. Since the bar and beer garden will be used as Fringe’s always popular Festival Bar, it must be completed for the festival’s September 5 kickoff.

La Peg, 140 N. Columbus Blvd., 215-375-7744, www.lapegbrasserie.com


Tags: Beer, Cocktails, Festival, Food, News, Outdoor Seating, Spirits, Wine
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