You've seen it a hundred times: New owners take over a long-running bar, gut the place, strip it of its character, and reopen, thinking they've reinvented the wheel.
George and Vasiliki Tsiouris did nothing of the sort after buying the Jeweler's Row institution Coco's, which ended its three-decade run this summer.
While the siblings changed the name to Craftsman Row Saloon (112 S. Eighth St.) - an homage to the gold-and-diamond trade - they have blessedly kept it much as it was. George's wife, Annette, kept it dark. She exposed forgotten ceiling beams and maintained the facade and terra-cotta vestibule, the long bar (with the names of deceased regulars memorialized in brass), and the banquettes (though reupholstered in button-tufted brown leather). The place got a good scrubbing.
The Tsiourises, who own Opa and its Drury Beer Garden at 1311 Sansom St., have brought in as chef Rich Freedman, previously sous chef at Opa under chef Bobby Saritsolgou.
Here's the menu/drink list, a wide collection of pub favorites including oysters, shrimp cocktail, French onion soup, four kinds of burgers, crispy chicken on focaccia, rigatoni Bolognese, and ribeye steak served with creamed spinach, shoestring potatoes, and chive-horseradish butter. Soups, salads and appetizers are $5 to $15, while sandwiches and entrees are $9 to $24.
Notice that drink prices are pretty much as they were in the final days of Coco's. Bar list has 16 drafts and more than 16 bottled and canned varieties. Wines are $8 and $9, and there are cocktails, as well.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily. It's in soft-opening phase till its official opening, Friday, Dec. 4.