Thalia Hall: A Beer, Cocktail and Food Mecca
By Matt Kirouac
October 1, 2013
Photo by: Dan Blackman
There's a renaissance happening in Pilsen right now, and it centers around the historic Thalia Hall. Leave it to Bruce Finkelman and Craig Golden, two of the gentlemen behind Longman & Eagle, to re-invigorate this 18th Street landmark with a multi-tiered restaurant/cocktail bar/public hall concept, anchored by Punch House and Dusek's Board and Beer.
Originally founded at the turn of the century by John Dusek, the intent of this sprawling building was to facilitate a community hub for locals, a spot that would contain storefronts, housing and a public hall. The motivation to intertwine food, beer and hospitality remains the crux of Thalia Hall, with beer-centric restaurant Dusek's Board and Beer adjoined by subterranean sister bar Punch House. The restaurant is a comfortable gathering place that Dusek would be proud of, featuring beer-friendly cuisine curated by Longman & Eagle's Jared Wentworth and a masterfully matched beer selection from cicerone Will Duncan. The convivial spirit carries downstairs, where Punch House brings cocktail lovers together over a punch-focused menu, an homage to the original communal beverage.
Still to come, Finkelman and Golden are fine-tuning the second-floor space, preparing to restore the original theater and open it up as an ornate public hall befitting artistic events, music and other community endeavors. The original Old Prague Opera House theater was first established in 1892, a lavish arena granted landmark status in 1985. It's been closed to the public since 1960, but that changes later this year.
Photos by Dan Blackman.