The Italian Market dive bar and music venue, Connie's Ric Rac, is turning 10 years old this year, and along with a slew of anniversary parties and concerts, the Ric Rac crew is expanding into the space next door, opening Connie's Kitchen, a sit-down space for guests to eat, drink, and listen to live music.
Connie's started off as a simple BYOB music venue for local acts, and in 2014, fresh off a liquor license acquisition, it became a full-fledged bar. Now, co-owner Ron Bauman says they're expanding the concept even further. "People are always bringing in food anyway," said Bauman, "We want to provide an all-around better customer experience."
Connie's Kitchen will have a similar vibe to its next door sibling: "no frills" and casual, but the smaller venue means everything will be a little more intimate. The addition will feature a small, "sit-down stage" (fits 1-2 people) for lighter acoustic sets, as well as more guest seating and a french fry-focused menu. Chef Sean Mcmonagle, previously at Brick & Brew and Happy Rooster, was brought on as a consultant to help devise a bar-friendly menu. While it still has yet to be completely fleshed out, Bauman promises different types of fries and a variety of toppings sourced from vendors down the street.
The Kitchen will be open by July 30, says Bauman.