Why did Helles & Dunkel in South End just rebrand as The Union?


The doors that belonged to Helles & Dunkel Craft Beer and Spirits at 222 E Bland St. in South End just got a new logo: A ring around a dotted circle surrounding the words, ” The Union.”

That’s right, the local, beer-focused bar owned by Bart Whitney (and before that, occupied by World of Beer) has been rebranded. Whitney has already renovated the space once — in 2017, he shut down the bar for a week to change up the interior with red paint and renovations, and expand a menu featuring Asian influences.

This time, Whitney wiped the slate clean with a fresh name, an interior bright with white brick, blue accents, cozy living-room style seating and blue tables bordered by bar stools, and the elimination of signage from most windows to let in more light. He even teamed up with Anthony Kearey and Rachel Kamen of 204 North and Tilt on Trade to get the job done.

The result: A light-filled, airy, neighborhood hangout.

Kearey explained the new concept, technically a private club, as a neighborhood spot where people can drop in after work and and feel like they are part of the community.

The playful name, “The Union,” is intended to inspire the unification of the area, full of people who have moved from all over the country and just want to hang out and have fun. They can also bring their dogs to the patio, which overlooks South Boulevard.

Guests will enjoy a vast assortment of beers and spirits, not to mention wines, plus Prosecco on tap (for your weekend Mimosa, of course). Expect to see a simple bar-snack menu pop up soon at this space, which is now open 4 p.m.-2 a.m. daily.

In the meantime, get familiar with the dart board, the pool table, the beer pong station, the giant Jenga, the daily beer/shot/liquor specials and the Monday appeal of half-price everything, with guest bartenders.

Don’t miss the official grand opening April 20 from 4 p.m.-2 a.m., either. (Details are here.)

Welcome to South End’s new watering hole.




  1. This is a bar in desperate need of an identity. We went there one Thurs night for drinks after dinner and the bartender had his iPhone streaming to the sound system. It kept looping the same rap song over and over and he kept running to his phone to change it. Each time. Then a homeless guy came in with a lunch bag and started eating and hustling us for money. The bartender didn’t seem to care much. Other than our small group and our new found hustler, the place was empty. Hopefully they’ve managed to inject some personality into the place to give it a reason for existing. Just serving alcohol isn’t gonna cut it, even in SouthEnd.

  2. I absolutely love chilling out at The Union. Whenever I have buddies in town, or when random coworkers ask about a nice spot to get food, drinks, music, games, etc…, I always point them to The U! As a regular, I know for sure that when I go there, it will be clean, safe, cozy, and I’ll have lots of options for entertainment. On top of that, the crew is personable and attentive! Oh yeah! And it’s pup friendly :))) :))


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