Poor Romeo is the sibling bar to Pinkerton’s across the street, run by the same people, Marc Baglio, Andy Wilson and Adam Graham.
Where Pinkerton’s is emo chic with a name that references an old Weezer album and Asian-inspired bar tapas, Poor Romeo’s influences are rock n’ roll and ’murricah all the way.
The name a nod to a Thin Lizzy song, Poor Romeo revamps tavern eats like smashed burgers, fried chicken sandwiches and shrimp cocktail.
The dim spot used to be home to a divey Chinese restaurant, the kind that seemed to serve more daytime beers than food.
It’s been transformed into a local-style bar, not intimidatingly nice but not scarily disgusting.
Ten can be crammed into a chef’s table at the back with a direct view of the pass.
A cheekily named section of “Raw Deals” contains market price old school shrimp cocktail and oysters on the half shell, or, of course, a “platter of both cuz you fancy” ($28).
Served on a kitschy bed of seaweed, P.E.I. Cascumpecs are the tiniest bit gritty though I do watch them being shucked and inspected at the bar, but shrimp are big and juicy.
The “PR Smash Patty Burger” ($12) from the “Pick It Up & Crush It” section uses a blend of brisket and chuck for the two moist but crispy patties smashed flat on the griddle and topped with their own house-made American cheese (made simply from good cheese, milk, and a stabilizer). The soft toasted bun is made in house, too.
The “Southern Man” ($13) fried chicken sandwich can also be found in this section, a generous portion of crispy bird dredged in Old Bay with pickled cabbage slaw, served on another toasted house bun.
A 12 oz. bavette steak ($30) from the “For the Whole Crew” section incorporates Latin American influence with an Argentinian-style sharing platter dolloped with punchy chimichurri and chilis.
The meat’s been given a two-hour sous vide before being seared to medium rare, served with whatever veg is around, today fingerling potatoes and brussel sprouts.
The “Gimme Shelter” is a tower of Altos Blanco and Lillet Blanc with an herby, citrusy mix of muddled grape, lemon sherbert, dill and apple rounding it out.
There’s also a pina colada on offer made in their own slushie machine with three types of rum, coconut milk and vanilla.
An ode to local beer makes up the chalkboard draft list: try a beefy Dieu Du Ciel! Aphrodite Stout ($9) with whatever you’re picking up and crushing.
These folks are bringing the creativity and passion they’ve always had as musicians to this mini “Gerrones” area empire.