In the early 2000s, going out in Midtown often meant a night at Halo or CosmoLava. Now, the former owner and operator of Halo, Jim Sullivan, hopes to bring renewed interest to the area with the opening of Foxtrot Liquor Bar in the former Cosmopolitan space at 45 13th Street. (Lava Lounge is still going strong next door).
“I love the cocktail culture,” says Sullivan, who partnered with Lava’s Scott McCray for the bar. “We have a shotgun-style bungalow with a ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s vibe—almost Mad Men. We wanted to create a cool, retro feel.”
In fact, the inspiration for the décor was a deconstructed men’s suit. There’s plaid wallpaper on the ceiling, houndstooth-patterned cedar tiles, brass rails, and a lot of pattern on pattern.
“It’s an elevated pub—the nighttime version of a unique coffeehouse,” Sullivan says.
Chris Gianaras, formerly of 4th & Swift, serves as food and beverage director, and Nate Shuman (Proof & Provision, Top Flr) consulted on the cocktails. The menu has a focus on unique drinks made with “cold draft square ice cubes that don’t dissipate as quickly as regular ones,” shaker tins, cocktail spears, and more. Two cocktails will be on tap, including the Welly-Welly, a spin on a Long Island Iced Tea, and a list of “Beers and a Shot” features local beers served with a miniature cocktail in a shot glass. Expect housemade tonics in addition to beer and wine.
Served until 1 a.m. on weekends, the food comes in the form of snacks and small plates, all designed to be shared. There’s poutine, pierogis, beef sliders, roasted cauliflower, and hoisin-glazed lollipop wings. (Tyler See, formerly of Wrecking Bar Brewpub and Murphy’s, is leading the kitchen.)
Sullivan says to get ready for “a high-end, low-key, just-right night.”