There is a familiar vibe at Breck’s that makes the new bar just what the Court Avenue district needed.
Tucked below sidewalk level on Fourth Street in the building that for years housed The Trattoria restaurant, Breck’s pulls a friendly crowd that could be found in any small- town Iowa bar.
The namesake of co-owner Ryan Breckenridge, the bar is more tavern than club — the kind of place that has its first dollar bill tacked behind the rustic wooden bar.
Gone is the gritty frat- house-basement feel the last bar in this location brought to mind. Breckenridge has shed plenty of sweat to make it his own by adding new lighting and giving chalk-covered walls a makeover.
“There has definitely been a learning curve,” said Breckenridge, who spent several years as a bartender. “I was used to being on the other side of things — going to work, making drinks and going home.”
His welcoming character and knack for knowing what makes a bar tick has paid off in his first month of business. (The grand opening was Oct. 12.) On a recent Friday night, TVs were tuned into baseball and UFC and friends gathered around arcade games, which many might consider the bar’s gem. Behind the bar, two gracious bartenders easily tag-teamed to accommodate the chill crowd, many of whom Breckenridge knew by name.
Mrs. Pac Man, darts, and Ultimate Big Punch are just a few of the games that easily attract patrons to drop endless dollars and time on entertainment with friends. Breckenridge’s biggest boast might be the four-player NBA Jam arcade machine he scored from Adventureland — a gamers’ Jam league is already in the making.
The night we stopped in, a Lime-a-Rita and Captain and Coke provided enough fuel to test our power behind the Big Punch. My status as a “weak man” after the first swing was enough to lure me back to, well, earn the same title.
Drink options are unpretentious and prices are fixed to match. Well drinks, bottled and draft beers — all domestic — go for $3.25. Twofer specials run every Tuesday.
Whether it’s pregaming before a night out on Court Avenue or the main event, Breck’s is the kind of place that’s welcoming for all occasions.
Find it: 207 Fourth St.
Hours: 4 p.m.- 2 a.m. daily