f/stop Fitzgerald's Public House

This is one of those reviews you're afraid to write simply because you don't really want anyone else to find the place.

It was Saturday at 7 and Mr. and I had been working most of the day and we weren't really dressed for going out, but we really didn't want to go home either. So we decided to go to f/stop for a beer.

f/stop is nestled in the neighborhood area near Highland elementary school and the first time we came we had a hard time finding it. It looks like someone's house except for the parking lot where the next door neighbor's house would be.

There's a patio area out front and commercial offices on the second floor. They call themselves "salem's smallest pub" and I agree, the bar itself has 7 tables and room for about 25 people max, and even that would be cozy.

The patio had a fire-pit and picnic tables and it looked like a great place to sit under a tree in the summertime. As it is fall, we headed inside.

We received a friendly hello from the bartender and found the tap list on a chalk board above the bar. They have a rotating tap of mostly local beers and hard cider and also offer house wine (from a box) or wine from Namaste Vineyards.

You order at the bar and have the chance to taste beers before you order. They have the cutest little tasting glasses, I think they're actually votive candle holders, but I don't care, they're adorable.

We tasted a couple and truth be told I loved them all. Gilgamesh's Mamba is one of my favorites, but I chose their Harvester instead, it had a fruity hint that was perfect for the fall weekend.

As we chose a table, another couple was playing cribbage and a shelf of games drew our eye. Mr. picked up some dominoes and we settled in.

As this bar is tiny, privacy is not to be found. We enjoyed listening to a nearby table plan for an upcoming high school reunion and when someone sat down at the table next to us, they shook our hands and introduced themselves. It was great!

After a couple games we were on our second round and getting hungry. They have some food offerings but not many. They offer Organic Fresh Fingers pizza bagels, a cheese plate and some other bar type appetizers. They even had an f/stop chili special that day as well.

We ordered the pizza bagels and they were delicious. We also saw 2 cheese plates go out and they looked fresh and were good size portions. The bartender told us the cheese selection varies daily, so be sure to ask what they're serving that day.

We each had 2 beers and our total bill without tip was less than 20 bucks. Their Happy hour runs from 4-6pm and the beers are a dollar less.

Overall we loved it. They have a focus on local beer, wine and food which is always a plus in my book. The place has the comfortable spirit of having drinks in someone's living room. I wouldn't go there with a huge group, it's much to intimate for that, but we'll be back and soon.

f/stop Fitzgerald's Public House
335 Grove St. NE
Wed-Sat 4pm to Close

Posted by Kristi_Nez


Anonymous said...

That outside deck is great in the summer. This place is cool and the staff is friendly.

Salem Man said...

This place is really cool. The few times that I have been here I ordered a British beer on tap. Bass? The review is spot on. The tables are comfortably close for conversations to carry over multiple parties.

Anonymous said...

Quite an unusual spot for a bar, in a rough neighborhood.

Why don't more folks put bars near where folks live so people don't have to drive after drinking?

Anybody know what the name stands for?

I'd actually like to check it out based on the review, but we'll have to cab it if we do.

Anonymous said...

I'll take an unsubstantiated stab at the name being wordplay on the photographic "F-stop" with, in this case---"Fitzgerald's supplying the "F" in hopes you'll stop :-)

Anonymous said...

Rough neighborhood? Weird. You haven't lived anyplace with a real rough neighborhood have you?

The name is a pun on the photography term "f-stop" and the name of the writer "F. Scott Fitzgerald" of course. According to the website: "The ƒ/stop is also billed as a place for fans of the visual arts. Both present and past. The shelves are filling up with old cameras, lights, books, and props from days before the digital age took over."

Apparently the owners are aficionados of both photography and literature. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

I've never been to the fastop fitzgeralds but I had to make a delivery right across the parkway to a residence a couple blocks away and was wondering what it was. Not a scary neighborhood, just run down. There's a big difference. Not a nice area by any means, but you should have seen NE Alberta in pdx before the gentrification took place. Now that was a rough scary neighborhood. Drug dealers standing on the street corners, gang shootings were common, etc. This is not a rough neighborhood, just run down.

All that said, hopefully they are doing well.

Chuck Bradley said...

To the last anon (12:22 PM),

When someone invests the time and thought to post a cogent and succinct post, as you have done, it prompts my eyes to leap to the author’s name. Anonymous always engenders a tiny disappointment as I ask myself: “Who was that masked man? (or woman)”

Vegan's Nightmare said...

ƒ/stop is ƒ/antastic.

Joshua said...

Finally made it here for the first time, and it's a great little pub that's different than any bar I've been to in Salem. Good atmosphere, lots of local beers that you can take home in a growler, and no tacky music or video poker. Be a regular and Keep this place open, Salem; it gives the city a touch of much needed drinkers credibility.

Kristi said...

An FYI- the f/stop is now open on Mondays and Tuesdays too! Hurrah!

A couple who was there for the first time told the bartender that they should advertise more, because no one knows about the place. She responded with a smile: "that's the way we like it". So true, the allure is that it's fairly unknown.

Oddly enough I've been there when the place is so packed you can't find a place to park or sit, so some people know about them!

If you do go and find parking to be a problem, there is a field west of the building where you can park.

The bar is off Liberty sort of near Highland Elementary School. Not a rough neighborhood in my opinion, but one of those areas that is slowly turning from housing into commercial (being off Liberty will do that) so you have a mix of people who live in the area.