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Maria's Community Bar Marks Third Anniversary With 'Bridgepork'

By Casey Cora | September 5, 2013 6:49am
 Maria's Community Bar in Bridgeport is throwing itself a big third birthday party.
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BRIDGEPORT — The crew behind Maria’s Community Bar is celebrating the popular tavern’s third anniversary with a big old barbecue they’ve dubbed Bridgepork.

“Barbecue, beer and music. Simple,” said Ed Marszewski, who along with his brother Mike runs Maria’s, which has garnered seemingly unending praise for its vast craft beer, cocktail selections and nightly curated DJ sets.

Originally called Kaplan’s Liquors, the package goods store at 960 W. 31st St. and the taproom behind it was taken over by Maria Marszewski in 1986. Her sons redesigned and rebranded the space in August 2010, turning it into a destination for craft beer aficionados — the bar boasts a rotating selection of 18 drafts, plus more than 400 bottles.

On Sept. 14, the Marszewskis, music director Joe Bryl and the staff will toast the bar's success with a community barbecue that brings together the diverse talents of Chicago chefs and bands. Admission is free; food and drink will cost you.

Scheduled to cook are Art Jackson of the next-door Pleasant House Bakery, who will be serving up Royal Bangers, Jackson’s artisanal take on the traditional “banger” sausage.

Underground bacon makers “Flesh for Food,” will be serving up a kimchi and pork soup — “an instant hit, given the ownership, community and general "KoPo" palate at the bar” — plus hard-boiled eggs and a to-be-determined vegetable side.

John Schultz — he of Mr. Spanky’s fame — will be serving up smoked ribs, Greek-style pork chops “and probably a Lao-style pork kabob with papaya salad.”

Chefs Beverly Kim and John Clark are also expected to provide food for the event, the second of its kind.

A roster of bands, made up of the staff’s friends, will keep he party going all day. Schedule to play are:

• 3:30-4 p.m. — Mike Bingaman

• 4-4:45 p.m. — Songs For Gods

• 5-5:30 p.m. — Axis:Sova

• 5:45-6:15 p.m. — Deep Sleep

• 6:30 p.m. — Hunter Husar

The party will continue down the street at the Co-Prosperity Sphere, where The Pocket Guide to Hell, a volunteer storytelling troupe that tells the city history through waking tours and performances is hosting a fundraiser.