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The New, Improved Spider Kelly’s Is Open for Business

by ARLnow.com March 16, 2010 at 3:16 pm 3,268 0

The concept for the original Spider Kelly’s was “a neighborhood hole in the wall,” says general manager and co-owner Nick Freshman. But the former hole in the wall has knocked down a few walls to become one of the biggest bars in Clarendon.

Spider Kelly’s has quietly taken the paper off the windows and opened for business, attracting about 100 customers last night, its first night open since renovations began in December. What would have been a big crowd at a normal bar was well under a quarter of Spider Kelly’s certified capacity of 455.

Pool tables, shuffleboard tables, dart boards and arcade-style video games have been brought in to add “more fun” to the neighborhood hangout. The well-received, value-priced menu has been expanded (more on that after the jump). Outdoor sidewalk seating for about 32 people will be added once the weather is warm enough, probably by the beginning of May.

The motivation for the new Spider Kelly’s was part vision, part opportunism. Just as the original Spider Kelly’s opened in 2008 by taking over the lease of a struggling restaurant, the new Spider Kelly’s came about largely because two neighboring businesses were looking to move or close up shop.

“We like to think of it as a natural evolution,” Freshman says. He and business partner Nick Langman — who also co-owns Clarendon Ballroom and Eventide Restaurant — dreamed up the idea of a “neighborhood spot, no pretension, just relaxed” back in college, a genesis that perhaps explains the obscure Hemmingway reference (Spider Kelly was a very minor character in “The Sun Also Rises”).

“It wasn’t without a certain amount of trepidation that we decided to expand,” Freshman said. Despite the lagging economy, Freshman says he Langman were impressed by Clarendon’s “resiliency,” including its ability to support the host of new food and nightlife options that have popped up in the past two years.

“I wouldn’t want be in any other neighborhood,” Freshman said, quipping that, in the end, “we figured someone has to get the economy going again, so we decided to quadruple in size.”

Spider Kelly’s will open at 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and at 11:00 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Lots of photos, and a first look at the new food and drink menus, after the jump.

Beers on draft: Miller Lite, Bud Light, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Stella Artois, Blue Moon, Yuengling Lager, Starr Hill Amber, Magic Hat 9, Legend Brown Ale, Negra Modelo, Starr Hill Seasonal, Lagunitas IPA, Big Daddy IPA

Bottled beer: Bud, Bud Light, Miller Lite, Coors Light, Corona, Amstel Light, Heineken, Pilsner Urquell, Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout, Boondt Amber Ale, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Starr Hill Dark Starr Stout, Brooklyn Brown, Flying Dog ‘Road Dog’ Porter, Dogfish Head 60 Min IPA, Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA, Hoegaarden, Guinness 16 oz cans, St. Pauli Girl N/A

Specialty cocktails: Bourbon Cruiser, Black Widow, Sex on Wilson, Key Lime Martini, Fountain of Youth, Kelly’s Mojito, Raspberry Mojito

Appetizers: Fried Shrimp, Buffalo Chicken Wings, Pulled Chicken Quesadilla, Battered Onion Rings, Sliders, Crabcake Sliders, Pulled Pork Sliders, Cheese Fries, Loaded Fries, Fried Mozzarella, Chips and Salsa or Fresh Guacamole, Too Many Nachos, Spinach and Artichoke Dip, Battered Chicken Tenders, Fried Pickles

Salads and Soups: Chopped, House, Classic Caesar, Cobb, Buffalo Chicken Salad, Two Alarm Chili over Rice, Chicken Noodle Soup, Vegetable Minestrone, Tomato Soup, Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

Sandwiches, Wraps and Burgers: 100% Beef Burger, Black Bean Burger, Grilled Cheese, Two 1/4 Pound Hot Dogs, Pulled Pork BBQ, Crabcake Sandwich, Three Grilled Fish Tacos, Shrimp Po’ Boy, Grilled Veggie Pita, Smoked Turkey Sandwich, Classic BLT, Grilled Chicken Sandwich, Smoked Turkey Wrap, Buffalo Chicken Wrap, Chicken Caesar Wrap

Entrees: Fried Chicken, Three Day Chicken, Dr. Pepper Pork Chop, Homemade Meatloaf, Jambalaya, Grilled Steak, BBQ Pork Ribs, Grilled Fish, Penne Pomodoro

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