There’s a new face on Washington Boulevard near 25th Street, and it’s already making quite an impact on the Ogden social scene.
Harp and Hound, according to its Facebook page, is “Ogden’s newest bar above Ogden’s second newest bar.” When Sea Bears Ogden Fish House moved to the Union Station, it left an open space above the basement bar Funk ‘n Dive. Dave Morris and Bridget Gordon, co-owners of Funk ‘n Dive, saw an opportunity to expand and build a brand new bar upstairs. Harp and Hound has been open for seven weeks now, so I met with Bridget Gordon to find out how things were going so far.
Morris and Gordon are no strangers to this kind of endeavor—they own 5 bars between them and now two together. Still, the decision to move forward with Harp and Hound didn’t come without trepidation. Gordon explains, “I was a little worried about it because we’ve tripled the rent and tripled the space and tripled the personnel. When this space became available, we thought, okay, we’ve saved up some money from the Funk ‘N Dive, we’re going to take that money and invest in a whole new bar. We were a little apprehensive, a little afraid, but fear will block you from doing successful things in life, so you’ve got to take fear out of the equation and keep going.”
Since opening in mid-January, Harp and Hound seems eager to prove it is worth the risk. The weekly Sunday brunch buffet has a wait-list of patrons eager to try the fresh, all-you-can-eat food accompanied by $1 Mimosas and $2 Bloody Marys. Two weeks ago, for $5 steak Friday, the kitchen served 300 steaks in under three hours. The new business already has its own set of regulars who come several times a week to order their favorite pub fare. The Harp and Hound hasn’t even been open for two months, but Gordon says, “We don’t have enough seating in here already. I had three more tables made last week.”
I wondered whether having a new bar just up the stairs was hurting Funk ‘n Dive’s business, but Gordon assured me that the opposite was true: “Because of the Harp and Hound, now the Funk ‘n Dive has gotten more popular. We did dueling pianos Saturday night and I had 160 reservations. I had to break out seven banquet tables.” It helps that the bars are quite different. Funk ‘n Dive caters to the college crowd with live music and a speakeasy feel. Harp and Hound, Gordon explains, “is more of a social club. If people don’t want the hustle and bustle or all the loud noise, [they] can sit here and have a conversation.”
Another major difference between the two bars is Harp and Hound’s large kitchen, built to serve up homemade pub fare. With $5 daily lunch specials, soups made in house, and a menu full of pub favorites, you’re sure to find something you love. Harp and Hound also has a large selection of vegan dishes. Co-owner Dave Morris is vegan, so it was a natural choice. Gordon explains, “People are actively looking for vegan options and vegan places to go. Most bars don’t have any vegan food. So one of our goals was to have delicious vegan bar food, and we do.”
If you make your way to the Harp and Hound, you can try one of the customers’ favorites, like the Cuban sandwich, tatchos (tater tot nachos), or blackened salmon tacos (which Gordon says will change your life). I can personally vouch for the delicious Reuben soup, with its corned beef, potatoes, and sauerkraut in a cream sauce, topped with rye croutons. I’ll be back. And if you like delicious food, a great bar and a friendly atmosphere, I’ll probably see you there.
Harp and Hound is located at 2550 Washington Blvd. in Ogden.