New Park Street pub open for business
That’s right, folks: The plywood chrysalis covering the entrance of what used to be the Pop Inn has come off, and a (promised) brand new pub called The Churchward has emerged. The grand opening was this past weekend.
Alameda native Joe Churchward Jr. said he was impressed with the changes taking place on Park Street and decided he wanted to be a part of them. So he persuaded the Pop Inn’s owner to sell to him and his family.
Sister Lisa was on hand when I visited, as was Joe’s dad Joe Sr., who you may know as the owner of the local accounting firm Hampton & Churchward; Joe Jr. sold home loans before buying the bar. When I visited Tuesday evening, the bar was hosting a few dozen folks enjoying after-work libations and a friendly dog named Scooby.
Churchward said his family took over the bar in November and ran it until May, always with the intention to turn it into a European-style pub that draws the same mixed crowd he once served at a bar he worked in while attending college in Santa Barbara.
“It’s a new, modern touch on Park Street,” Churchward said.
The brand-new, Italo Calpestri-designed facade (and my apologies, this crappy cell-phone photo does not do it justice) fronts an airy, open space with about a mile of bar inside. A trio of flat-screen TVs hangs in a neat row over the bar, and there’s a pool table and a nifty touchscreen jukebox in back (which was playing Johnny Cash when I walked in).
The bar also sports two of the cleanest couches I have ever seen in a drinking establishment. Oh, and the Pop Inn sign is still out front.
Churchward said they’ve got menus from area restaurants for anyone who gets hungry as they hang out, and that he’ll have football and barbecues every Sunday. Behind the bar is a small space that he said he plans to turn into an outdoor patio. The bar will also host occasional live music and DJs, he said.
They’re at 1515 Park Street. And if you happen to be over there early enough, the Spirit Halloween store is open for business now too.