Pour Judgment: A New ‘Secret’ Uptown Bar, Atwater Alley

Once the door opens at this speakeasy style bar, you're in for a treat.

Alex Fletcher, beverage director for Henry's Majestic and Atwater Alley.
Alex Fletcher, beverage director for Henry’s Majestic and Atwater Alley.

Henry’s Majestic opened last October in the space that once housed ACME F&B. The restaurant and bar from the team behind Bread Winners Café has been plating dinner, brunch, and now lunch, and shaking up some serious cocktails ever since. Alex Fletcher, previously of the People’s Last Stand and more recently Victor Tango’s, has crafted a complex and rotating drink menu that packs a punch.

There’s The Scarlet Begonia with gin, Lillet Blanc, lemon, raspberry, pink peppercorn syrup, and sparking rosé; Misson to Burma with golden raisin infused rum, lemon, and sugar amaro; and the 8AM with nitrous charged Vietnamese blended coffee, vanilla infused bourbon, and sweetened condensed milk. His crafted selection of libations is constantly changing, too. None of this is news. What might be news to some people, though, is that Fletcher is also slinging drinks at a somewhat secret bar next to Henry’s Majestic called Atwater Alley.

The building is an extension of the restaurant, but not part of it. The space is being used primarily for private events, but is occasionally open to the public. How do you get in? Walk into Henry’s and ask if Atwater Alley is open. If it is, a host will lead you outside of the restaurant, and down an alley to a side door.

Once the door opens, you’re in for a treat as the “speakeasy” style bar really lays on the charm — in vibe, service, and cocktails.

The atmosphere: The two-story space is adorned in dark woods, black wallpaper, leather booths, and both of the gorgeous bars embody the same rustic, warm and inviting vibe of Henry’s Majestic. It’s dark and moody, but not pretentious.

Where to sit: Pull up a stool at either the upstairs or downstairs bar for a cocktail and show. Watch as bartenders, shake, swizzle, and ignite drinks with flames. For an intimate conversation snag a booth upstairs next to the fireplace.

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What to drink: There aren’t any specific drinks on the menu, rather, guests are encouraged to request classics, or discuss their preferences with the bartenders. Skip the Mint Julep, if only because the ice isn’t crushed (or at least it wasn’t the night I ordered it), and jump straight into spirit-forward classics like the Negroni or Manhattan. They also shake up a killer Last Word (for a fun twist, request mezcal in place of gin). Feeling snacky? There’s a short food menu which offers appetizers from Henry’s Majestic.

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What to wear: There’s no dress code here. Sure, you can sport your favorite pair of Valentino studded kitten heels and pair of J Brand leather pants, but chances are you’ll be standing next to somebody who feels more comfortable in a North Face vest and sneakers.

The service: While service is speedy and attentive it’s important to keep in mind that this is a craft cocktail bar, so expect a short wait for your drinks depending on how busy it is.

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The verdict: An aesthetically pleasing and dark bar with strong, classic cocktails. It’s an ideal spot for an intimate conversation. Also, if it’s not open you can always head to one of the bars at Henry’s Majestic and sip on one of Alex Fletcher’s creative libations.

Comments

  • asvl;ahe

    we need just one craft cocktail bar that doesn’t have a bartender with a moustache. Just one.