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Jerry's Bar, new from ground up

Jewel in Northern Liberties.

When they moved to Northern Liberties, the Proud family fell in love with Jerry's Bar, an old-time shot-and-beer at New Market and Laurel Streets.

Owner Jerry Lebid kept asking patriarch Bill Proud to buy the place. Finally, Proud accepted the offer two years ago. But no slap-dash, on-the-cheap work followed.

See, Proud runs one of the city's busiest mason-restoration companies, and he, his daughter Christie Proud Bernstein and son in law Ryan Bernstein set out to go first class with the new Jerry's Bar (129 W. Laurel St., 267-273-1632).

They took the place apart brick by brick - perhaps releasing decades of cigarette smoke in the process - and put it back together again.

They also scooped out the basement to raise the ceilings. They also carved a balcony out of a portion of the old second floor.

(See the progress in these photos here.)

The result is a light-filled building with dark woods, exposed brick, white subway tiles, a marble bar top, and repurposed light fixtures and decorations. There's one bar per floor, and a courtyard for eventual outdoor seating.

The Prouds also had the sense to bring in consultant Suzanne O'Brien to set it up. (In a similar vein, she had helped new owners rehab the old Trestle Inn in the Loft District.)

She brought in chef Marshall Green, previously the chef-owner of Cafe Estelle. His kltchen stops also include Fork, Django and Ansill.

They're going for what they call a "refined neighborhood bar" approach. Green's entrees: Steak Frites ($19), Bouillabaisse ($23), Trout Almandine ($18), Chicken and Bowties ($16), Pork Chop Milanaise ($16), and Potato Gnocchi ($16). There are burgers plus bar snacks and appetizers, including house-made pickles, house-made pierogi ($8), escargot ($13), pickle-brined wings ($9), Moules Frites ($11/17), and Meatballs and Toast ($8.50). Twelve beers plus cocktails.

Objects and furnishings that the Prouds have uncovered on job sites figure prominently into the decor. The downstairs bar is a slab of 3-inch marble from Independence Place. The chair rail was fashioned from railings from the Divine Lorraine Hotel. The original bar top from Jerry's is set up in the upstairs barroom.

Andrea Fleegle Warfield, whose resume includes the former Pigalle, Amada, Distrito, Tinto, and Oyster House, is general manager.

It's open nightly at 5 p.m.