I really, really want downtown businesses to be successful, but take note: you have to help me out by allowing me to like you– have good service and good food, please! Bagpipes, whose future is in question due to unpaid rent, occupies the former Sully’s space on 7th street. The Better Half wanted to try it out, so I acquiesced, on a rainy Friday a couple of weeks ago.
Bagpipes has the vibe of an Irish or Scottish pub– but with a light hand. They added some brick and switched up some artwork, but it feels very much like Sully’s interior. The staff is dressed in pseudo-Irish outfits, and serve a big selection of Irish and craft beers, as well as a Pub-style menu.
We sat down on that rainy Friday with few (if any) people in the bar. A female bartender approached us to see if we wanted anything, and we needed a minute. Another bartender approached us a couple of minutes later, but being courteous, we said, “Oh, she’s got us.”
And then we waited. And waited. For about twenty minutes. I still don’t know where she went.
The bartender noticed that we still hadn’t gotten a drink, and he very kindly got us our beers and said that they were on him, because of our wait. He brought us a menu as well, as waiting had made us hungry.
The atmosphere, despite the waiting, is pleasant– not too loud, with mostly Top 40 music playing. It seemed like many of the customers were there for happy hour, or on their way to the Reds game. Sort of neighborhood-y, sort of sports-bar. It was odd to see two guys in chefs’ chalk stripe pants playing Golden Tee in the back (something a Yelper noticed as well– I hope we were just there on the same night), but I didn’t think much of it until we ordered the food.
We decided to split some nachos– seemed safe, but hearty enough for the two of us to split, and it sounded good on the menu. Cheese, salsa, “Bagpipe’s Chili”– what’s not to like? Unfortunatley, everything. They were severely underwhelming– the chili tasted canned, the cheese was congealed in some parts, unmelted in others– just not that great. It took a while to get and, considering it didn’t seem like anything was cooked or made fresh, took longer than it should have. I guess I know what the kitchen staff was doing instead of making great bar food.
The one redeeming factor is their beer selection, which includes a wide variety of craft beers and imports at good prices. That made me really want to like the place. We debated if we would go back again before I wrote about Bagpipes, but I don’t think we’ll bother. Stop in for a beer if you have some time to spare, but eat elsewhere.