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Mace, 649 E. 9th St., NYC


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Mace will be the new bar where Louis 649 used to be the old bar. It's not open yet, but theoretically will be sometime early in the new year. Cocktail Kingdom's Greg Boehm is the owner, and partner Nico de Soto will be running the show. Before they close and renovate the Louis 649 space, Nico is hosting a holiday themed cocktail pop-up, called Miracle on 9th Street, which will be open through December 23rd.

 

Anyone who knows Nico's drinks (he opened ECC and Prescription Cocktail Club in Paris, amongst others) knows that they are fairly ingredient intensive, with (usually) 4 or more ingredients, some of which may even sound a little strange on paper - marshmallow and Budweiser syrup, anyone?

 

Significant Eater and I checked it out on opening night, this past Saturday. As I mentioned, many of the cocktails sound a bit strange on paper, but pretty much everything I tasted was good (I mean, not as good as a beautifully made Manhattan, but what is?). There's smoke, there's frankincense, there are candy canes, there are nogs, there are flips, there's a sangaree. Definitely drinks of the season, spicy and sweet. But really well balanced...with a good use of citrus. Worth giving a look-see if you like these types of cocktails.

 

COMP DISCLOSURE: I am pretty sure a round of drinks was on the house.

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The bars seem to be attracting non-residents, so I guess the demand is indefinite, if not infinite. Selfishly, I find it a little sad, because I used to spend a lot of time on that strip, and all the places--and people--I used to enjoy have gone.

 

(To be clear, one or two old places like Zum Schneider and Esperanto persist, but I didn't really use them.)

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Joe and I noted over our cocktails (to the extent I can remember) that, despite the proliferation of Serious Cocktail Bars, you still can't get into Death & Co. and PDT. Which must mean, fairly ironically, that those places are filled with cocktail tourists -- to the extent that perhaps it's better for serious (here it comes) (I don't know another word for it) cocktailians (alcoholics?) to patronize the ever-expanding elsewhere.

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If you have to wait to get into a cocktail bar, then there aren't enough cocktail bars.

But really, I'm pretty sure the only ones where you have to wait to get in are D&C and PDT, and even those can be gotten into fairly easily on the right days at the right time. Attaboy might also be a pain at the wrong time.

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Are the ones where you don't have to wait just as good as the ones where you do have to wait? In my experience - sometimes, but usually not.

Pouring Ribbons is as good as any cocktail bar in the city.

 

So is Amor y Amargo, within its limits.

 

So is Pegu Club.

 

I could go on.

 

(There's definitely a second level. But there are a lot more than three or four places above it.)

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Are the ones where you don't have to wait just as good as the ones where you do have to wait? In my experience - sometimes, but usually not.

Pouring Ribbons is as good as any cocktail bar in the city.

 

So is Amor y Amargo, within its limits.

 

So is Pegu Club.

 

I could go on.

 

(There's definitely a second level. But there are a lot more than three or four places above it.)

 

I will...

 

151.

Nitecap.

Flatiron Lounge.

Raines.

Clover Club.

NoMad Bar.

etc.

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