A veteran of the food business by way of New York and Las Vegas, Craig Mariutto could have set up shop anywhere in town and found success with his family-friendly pub concept. In lieu of a surefire location, though, he opened Shoefly Public House in his own Fall Creek Place neighborhood last winter—in a 100-year-old building that had sat empty for some time. Mariutto gutted the place, recovering the original hardwood and using the pieces in finishing work, such as the knotty wood wall behind the bar. The repurposed decor jibes with the menu’s reinvention of tavern fare: comfortable yet civilized, with flashes of brilliance, as in crispy-fried Citrus Spiced Seitan; beer-battered walleye with housemade tartar sauce; and black bean–corn fritters with cilantro cream. Through it all, Shoefly keeps diners hydrated with a lineup of obscure craft beers. Try the namesake dessert, topped with ginger gelato.
KID FRIENDLY: The “Kid Stuff” menu lists items named after children in Mariutto’s family, and the soft beverages include a Bronx-style egg cream and homemade limeade.
122 E. 22nd St., 317-283-5007, shoeflypublichouse.com
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This article appeared in the May 2014 issue.