herbacious as always……
Another Year of Coloring Outside the Lines—Successfully
Discovering Creativity, In a Bar, in the City-Louis 649
There is a running joke that I travel out of the country more than into Manhattan. This is partially because work has been constantly pulling me out of the country and partially because I tend to stay in Brooklyn where I feel I am more often satisfied by their consistency in everything I want and need in either a restaurant or a bar. Now take in mind at 39 years of age going to a bar has turned into something a little different than when I was 29. The need for an excuse to go to a bar at 29 was nonexistent, we just went and we didn’t particularly care who was there, what we drank or what the ambiance was, drinking at 29 was simple. At 39 I put a little more stake in where I go and more importantly what I drink and in what ambiance. There have been too many times I have been disappointed in jaunts in the city. As a busy person I have little time to waste and take my free time seriously and like to be insured a good time, especially while drinking and eating. I am less adventurous in my home city about trying new places, especially in Manhattan. When one has to journey by cab or subway in the middle of the night, half in the bag, it is important that they can say that they had a good time. For me more often than not I leave the city disappointed, the scene, the energy, the cocktails, and the crowds all seem to place a very distant second to the amazing feed lots and wateringholes we have in Brooklyn. So on a recent journey all the way into Manhattan; deep into Alphabet City I discovered a gem by pure accident really. Louis 649.
With its history of live jazz, housing some of NYC’s best jazz musicians and its artisanal spirit, I immediately felt like Louis 649 was my kind of drinking hole and the kind of place that us Brooklynites would expect to find in our own backyard. It is cozy and quaint, which is a compliment and not just a polite way of saying it’s small. It boasts a casual environment with high end premium libations, which I have come to have a great taste for with age. It is the perfect size for mingling alongside what appears to be like-minded folks and with its economical prices, it makes good sense on the pocket book, which is a bonus. They offer some of the most creative artisanal spirits made throughout the country and I am a big fan of these artisanal spirits makers and an even bigger fan of those who support them, especially when it is easy and cheap not to. A well selected offering of liquor, wine and beer is a must for me. This is the kind of artisanal “spirit” we find every day in Brooklyn, which is just another reason I was impressed. I felt at home instantly.
Since I am a big fan and proponent of education and specifically educating in unique and almost subliminal ways, I was pleased have my first experience be on one of their infamous Tuesday Night Tastings. The Tuesday Night Tastings have apparently been a big draw for years and have outlasted even the amazing live jazz, which had to become less regular because of noise complaints from the neighborhood. Tuesday Night Tastings are one of the only places in the whole damn city, where you can get a free tasting of some of the most highly coveted spirits on the market today, as well as receive a lecture and Q & A session with the folks behind each of the brands featured in the tastings. Tuesday Night Tastings start at 8PM each and every Tuesday and in my opinion is one of the most happening places to be in terms of multifunctional fun. Where else can you surround yourself with good folks, taste amazing premium spirits and receive top notch education all for free?
They also have an amazing menu despite the fact that they have no real kitchen. The feature some of the city’s top artisanal food makers, such as Saxelby Cheese and Ricks Picks. It’s really a perfect place to have a few drinks and a bite and learn a thing or two about the spirits world! Great staff an pretty place!
**Since this was written we had the Ger-Nis’ Herbalicious Birthday Bash at Louis 649, on one of their Tuesday Night Tasting’s. The owner Zachary Sharaga, allowed me to take a wild idea (coloring outside the lines) of bringing all our Brooklyn buddies into the city with us, including our jazz friends. We featured tastings of New York Distilling Company & Brooklyn Hemispherical Bitters and five top mixologists donated herbalicious cocktail recipes for a contest, which inevitably Mr. Sharaga won with his, “ Herbal Zaiquiri”. The Dan Aran trio softened the air with their sweet music and our friends and fans were there to wish us a well on our night. One Girl Cookies, Underground Eats and Jacobs Farm gave out amazing treats for the event. The night was an amazing good time, everyone had fun and we cannot thank Mr. Sharaga enough for his beautiful hospitality and willingness to let us “color outside the lines”.
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