The folks at Coughlin’s Law Kitchen & Ale House serve cocktails and dreams. They also have an awesome burger that comes in a smoke-filled glass cloche.
Mount Washington’s newest hotspot — named after Doug Coughlin, the wisdom-spouting bartender who takes Tom Cruise under his wing in the movie “Cocktail” — offers breathtaking views of the city and a seasonal menu packed with surprising treats (bacon lollipops!) and pub favorites (wings, sliders, tacos, fish and chips).
On the weekends, brunch is available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. That’s when chef Ryan Grace cooks traditional dishes like steak and eggs, plus out-of-the-ordinary fare like the Waffle BLT made with a blue corn waffle, bacon, arugula, tomato and smoked aioli.
For folks who like beer for breakfast, the gastropub boasts 43 rotating drafts, with an emphasis on local brews. Growler-fills are available. There are also seven wines on tap and a drink menu that inspires barroom poetry.
Fans of “Cocktail” can try the Kind of a Red Eye, a potent mixture of Jim Beam Black, Grand Marnier, cherry cola syrup and orange bitters. Jordan’s Law, a liquid tribute to Elisabeth Shue’s rich chick character, combines Maker’s Mark, Grand Marnier, champagne and apple cider.
The Papa Smurf, a vodka concoction served in a 64-oz. fishbowl, is a familiar sight to some. It’s a staple at the bar’s sister location, Carson City Saloon on the South Side.
“At Carson City, you know when you walk in the door that we are a family-owned business. We want to make sure we have the same vibe up here,” says the bar’s co-owner and manager Tracy Molyneaux, who entered the fold as a waitress when the East Carson Street bar opened in 2006.
But, she says, “we are more food-forward. We’re pushing happy hour and brunch. Not late-night dollar beers.”
Coughlin’s Law: Anything else is always something better.
That’s what the brothers Frank and Brian Vetere thought when they saw the vacant building on Virginia Avenue. A former gas station, the L-shaped structure had fallen into a state of disrepair. The Veteres, along with Molyneaux, cousin Callen Pisone and friend Josh Gross spent two-and-a-half years renovating the space.
Coughlin’s Law opened for business on April 12.
They opted for an industrial look, with garage doors and exposed steel beams. Bloomfield’s Iron Eden incorporated bridge parts into the bar and tables, and transformed 30 millworker lunchboxes into barstools.
Kegs were repurposed as restroom sinks and urinals.
There’s outdoor seating on the large front porch and back patio. The rooftop will soon sprout a garden filled with fresh herbs and vegetables for the kitchen.
Although parking can be tricky — a nearby parking garage is temporarily closed due to structural issues — the bar is within walking distance of the Monongahela Incline. Uber and Lyft drivers are a common sight on the mountain and keep the place packed with revelers.
And though they aren’t juggling whiskey bottles, Coughlin’s Law bartenders — aristocrats of the working class — never lose their cool, even the time hundreds of people showed up for a cornhole tournament.
“It’s a fun atmosphere,” she says. “You can have a great meal and try a beer you’ve never tried before without breaking your budget.”
Doug Coughlin would be proud.