The former Nutley Pub has found new life under a new marque, Cowan’s Public. Opened by brothers Thomas and Dean Maroulakos, Cowan’s Public is changing the way locals think about food and beverage. Boasting quite a nice tap list and some pretty slick cocktails, Cowan’s is sure to become a favorite for beer drinkers near and far.
Upon entering you are greeted by a beautiful bar. It’s so inviting and makes you feel like you have been transported to a speak easy in the 40’s.
They kept the floor plan open in the bar area to allow for more standing room on the busy weekends. While some might scoff at the idea, I think it’s great and allows for more mingling with other patrons.
There is a small dining room as well if you want to escape the busy bar. It fills up fast on the weekends so make sure you get a reservation.
Everything you see constructed at Cowans was made by the brothers. By hand. It really makes you appreciate the place even more.
The ceiling in the dining room is all original tin that they took down, cleaned and put back up.
All the light fixtures are original relics from the 40’s-60’s. All rewired and re purposed to decorate the walls and ceilings.
In the bar were these cool cabinets filled with trinkets of the past.
They even jazzed up their signs that are required by law if you own a bar. Something I have never seen before.
On to the beer selection. Thomas is a former head brewer from Ramstein in Butler NJ. It’s safe to say that he knows his stuff when it comes to craft beer and won’t be putting any crap on tap.
He spared now expense on their draft system and did the install himself.
They feature 16 taps in total with a wide range of styles from both local and far.
Rather than print new menu’s everyday. Tom decided to put in place this stamping system. It’s always cool to see whats on deck, especially if it’s just tapped. You can also find their list online at Beer Menus.
With this many good beers on it’s always tough to make a decision. If you don’t know what you want, ask for a smaller pour or grab a flight. Cowans wants you to experience everything.
The food menu might be small but it has a nice array of items curated by Chef Chris Arturo. I was in a burger kind of mood and it was slamming. The house cured pickles and onions were a nice touch atop the cheddar and grass fed beef. They are looking to get into the brunch game soon, so stay tuned to their Facebook for details.
Of course I washed it down with a big old glass of Carton Hop Pun. This beer is amazing and it’s great to see them supporting the local NJ beer makers here. I would also like to add that the bar staff is both inviting and fun.
I having a feeling Cowan’s Public is going to do quite well for the area. If you are reading this and your mouth is salivating. Get off your ass this afternoon and swing by for a beer and a bite. That goes for you too New Yorkers. This place is a short trip through the tunnel or over the bridge and worth the travel and experience. Best of luck to the Maroulakos brothers, they have something really special here.