Tucked Inside a Gilded Age Landmark … a Tropical Bar?
How do you follow up a trick like Gage & Tollner? At that Brooklyn chophouse, three partners brought a famous-but-closed restaurant out of dormancy and then pulled it through a yearlong Covid delay to become one of the critical and popular dining successes of 2021.
For the team’s next act, Sunken Harbor Club, nestled in a snug room on the second floor of Gage’s building at 372 Fulton Street, will open Nov. 13.
Like Gage itself, Sunken Harbor Club is something of a phoenix-from-the-ashes affair. The club began in 2013 as a tiki pop-up, held every Thursday night at Fort Defiance, the Red Hook bar and restaurant owned by St. John Frizell, one of the partners who revived Gage. When work on Gage & Tollner began, the partners decided to give Sunken Harbor Club a permanent home. The dark-wood-clad space, designed by another Gage partner, Ben Schneider, resembles the hull of a ship and is decorated with mounted fish and glass fishing floats.
The eclectic cocktail list will include classic cocktails such as the mai tai and El Presidente, and drinks like the Pan American Clipper and Remember the Maine that are drawn from the work of Charles H. Baker Jr., a mid-20th-century cocktail writer whose work is a special obsession of Mr. Frizell’s. There will also be several original takes on classic cocktail formulas, such as the Singapore Burrapeg, which folds the flavors of a Singapore Sling into the form of a Champagne cocktail; and the Bridge of Sighs, which crosses a Jungle Bird (rum, Campari, juice) with a Black Magic (rum, coffee, juice).
“People don’t give tropical drinks enough credit for diversity of style,” said Garret Richard, who bears the title chief cocktail officer at Sunken Harbor Club, and will tend bar alongside Stephen Bielawski, the head bartender. “They think it’s all just crushed-ice drinks.”
There will also be a separate food menu, which will include shrimp chips and salt-cod fritters.
Sunken Harbor will not take reservations for its 30-odd seats. Mr. Frizell expects people will grab a drink there before dinner at Gage, while others may head up for a nightcap. (The bar will have later hours than the restaurant, closing at midnight.) Others still may bypass Gage altogether in favor of a night at Sunken Harbor Club.
While the first permanent Sunken Harbor Club has to reach a bit for its maritime effect, the next will not have to bother. A second Sunken Harbor Club will open at the resort Cambridge Beaches in Bermuda in January.
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