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Food+Drink

Looking To Go Somewhere This Summer? Get Your Beach Fix at Somewhere Pub

new Caribbean-inspired eatery brings tropical paradise to Altoona's River Prairie

Rebecca Mennecke, photos by Andrea Paulseth |

EAT LIKE IT'S THE CARIBBEAN. Try the new Crab Salad Cone (left) and Caribbean Shrimp Dip (right) at Somewhere Pub in Altoona.
EAT LIKE IT'S THE CARIBBEAN. Try the new Crab Salad Cone (left) and Caribbean Shrimp Dip (right) at Somewhere Pub in Altoona.

The only thing missing from Somewhere Pub is a tropical beach, filled with warm sand between your toes. And maybe some tropical weather – though we’ve had plenty of that lately.

That’s according to owner Justin Held, who co-owns Property Minds – a property management company he started in 2019 with his father, Mark Held – which developed the newest River Flats apartments in River Prairie, as well as the new beachy-keen restaurant, Somewhere Pub.

The new bar and eatery – which officially opened in late May – brings Caribbean-inspired vibes to the heart of Altoona, featuring tropical pizza courtesy of Geno’s Pizza, piña coladas, daiquiris, Olson’s ice cream, shrimp cocktails, island pork sandwiches, rice bowls, jerk chicken, and more. That’s not to mention their tropical specialty drink flavors, including Blue Lagoon, Purple Rain, Sea Turtle (which does not contain actual sea turtles), Tropical Splash, Island Squeeze, and more. (For beer enthusiasts, local favs like Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy  and New Glarus’ Spotted Cow are on the menu!)

“It has to stand out,” Held said. “It has to be unique.” And stand out it does.The bright, cyan color of the exterior, beachy fonts and signage, and metal palm trees – created by Greg Johnson of Artisan Forge Metalworks in Eau Claire – is eye-catching, and the bright exterior conveys the vibe Held is going for: beachy, summery, and all-around Carribean.

Located right next to Altoona’s River Prairie park, the pub features a walk-up window for folks who may want a quick scoop of ice cream on a hot day.

“We wanted to have you feel like really the only thing you’re missing when you walk in is the beach and the sand,” Held said.

The Caribbean inspiration is something new to the Chippewa Valley – though not to Held, who fondly recalls childhood travels to the Turks and Caicos Islands. He wanted to bring that same energy to the Chippewa Valley, he said.

“I’m excited for the community to see the final product,” he said. “I think it’s going to (have) one of the most unique drink menus in the whole Eau Claire and Chippewa Valley area.”


Check out Somewhere Pub at somewherepub.com or at 1485 Front Porch Place, Altoona.