Spring has officially sprung, even if temperatures across much of the country remain stubbornly wintry. On the bright side, the new season brings several hotly anticipated bars, perfect for late-night revelry, patio sipping, and so on.
From an experimental cocktail laboratory in the Pacific Northwest, to a chic Midwestern hotel bar, to an izakaya next to a cult ramen shop, here are 10 places where we are eager to toast spring’s arrival.
See you on the other side.
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Chicago’s most star-studded opening comes courtesy of Julia Momose, an alum of The Aviary and GreenRiver, with Noah and Cara Sandoval of Oriole restaurant. (In 2016, Noah was named Chicago Tribune’s Chef of the Year. He also holds a Michelin star.) Conceived as an omakase cocktail bar, Kumiko, whose name refers to intricate Japanese woodworking, will serve 11 to 15 drinks, including some non-alcoholic options, created by Momose, a Japan native, and served alongside cocktail-inspired bites from Sandoval’s kitchen.
This Monday night pop-up series is settling into full-time, brick-and-mortar digs in southeast Portland. Adam Robinson will oversee the 50ish-seat space, which will have a 16-seat bar and a “cocktail lab” where patrons can get a front-row view of Robinson’s cocktail technology. (The latter was reportedly inspired in part by bars like Operation Dagger in Singapore.) Scheduled to open in late April or May, Deadshot will share space with Holdfast Dining, a two-person chef’s table from Will Preisch and Joel Stocks.
Think pink at Candy Bar, a bubblegum-hued cocktail den opening this month in the lobby of The Siren Hotel. The 106-key boutique hotel is housed in the Wurlitzer Building, a downtown landmark that had been vacant since the 1980s. Interiors are by Brooklyn-based ASH NYC (The Dean Hotel, Providence), and the 30-seat lounge will have plush banquettes, a marble bar, glittering chandelier, and a disco ball from Paris’s Les Bains nightclub. The drinks list will riff on classics, and include a house Martini and a Japanese Highball with extracted oils.
The owners of Cheu Noodle Bar, a fleet of Asian-Jewish ramen shops, and Bing Bing Dim Sum, will debut this 40-seat Japanese bar in Fishtown in late May or early June. The izakaya will be located right next door to Cheu Fishtown, and the two will share a patio and bar service. nunu will serve late-night cocktails as well as Japanese bar snacks like yakitori (grilled chicken skewers) and katsu (breaded pork cutlets).
The first branch of New York City’s iconic Death & Co. cocktail bar is coming to The Ramble Hotel, a 50-key stunner that appeared on myriad “2018 Hotel Openings to Watch” lists earlier this year. Set to debut this spring, the bar will be located in the hotel lobby, and will serve the innovative cocktails that made the original Death & Co. famous, plus all-day cafe fare, beers from local craft favorites like TRVE and Cerebral, biodynamic wines, and grower Champagnes. The bar will also have an intimate, evening-only mezzanine.
San Francisco, Calif.
Housed in the original location of the Mission’s legendary Slanted Door restaurant, this tropical cocktail bar marks the return of Josh Harris and Morgan Schick, whose first bar, Trick Dog, is less than a mile away. The drinks list at Bon Voyage! will change frequently and seasonally, and will feature tiki-esque cocktails like a reimagined Singapore Sling made with whiskey and nitro coconut milk. Designer Wylie Price (Ramen Shop, The Progress) is behind the vaguely ’70s-inspired, bi-level interior.
New York, N.Y.
The second interstate transplant on our list comes courtesy of Elad Zvi and Gabriel Orta, who are bringing Miami’s James Beard-nominated Broken Shaker bar to NYC this spring. The 2,500-square-foot space will occupy the roof of Flatiron’s new Freehand Hotel. In addition to seasonal, tropical cocktails (Miami’s Broken Shaker serves a colada with lemongrass and Chinese Five Spice), Broken Shaker NYC will offer light snacks.
Agricole, the firm behind some of Houston’s hottest bars and restaurants (Coltivare, Eight Row Flint) is creating three linked developments in East Downtown Houston. Miss Carousel, a cocktail den named for a Townes Van Zandt song, will occupy some 5,000 square feet of the project, and will span a living-room-esque interior with couches and a fireplace, plus a secluded patio. Two-thirds of the 25 to 30 cocktails will be Miss Carousel originals, and the rest classics. The destination will also have a 3,000-square-foot restaurant, Indianola, and a pizzeria.
From the team behind the newly opened Player’s Club, a hip spot with pool tables and board games, comes this multi-level craft cocktail lounge in Logan Circle. It will reportedly have indoor seating as well as a rooftop space. Details on the drinks at French 75 remain scarce, but the operators’ pedigrees — Eric and Ian Hilton also opened the Brixton, Gibson, and El Rey, among others — have much of the District waiting with bated breath.
Music City is getting its first tiki bar this spring, taking over the former Bar Luca space in East Nashville. The all-star trio at the helm includes Mike Wolf, bar manager of Nashville’s esteemed Husk, plus Isle of Printing founder Bryce McCloud, and Barista Parlor owner and founder Andy Mumma. Drinks at pre-opening events, such as last month’s pop-up at Nicky’s Coal Fired, included a frozen Jungle Bird riff, plus an Appleton-spiked Sassafras-Falernum swizzle.