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The 19 Most Anticipated Bar Openings of 2015

Get ready to drink up at these bars in the US and Canada.

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2015's kicking off strong, with a host of anticipated bars ready to start serving in the first quarter of the year. Just like with restaurant openings, this season appears to be all about established bar experts opening new projects: a new tiki bar from Paul McGee, previously of Chicago's Three Dots and a Dash (Lost Lake), the gin bar to end all gin bars coming up from San Francisco's Smuggler's Cove (Whitechapel), a Portland ham bar from pizza purveyors Oven & Shaker, a second spot from Toronto's Grant van Gameren (Bar Raval), and some New York City favorites banding together to open a neighborhood spot for cocktails, beer, and oysters (The Grand Army Bar). Below, take a look at everything that's about to happen.

ATLANTA

AMER

Location: Inman Quarter, 280 Elizabeth Street; website.
Key Players: Brian Lewis, David Durnell
Projected Opening: March
From Bocado's owner Brian Lewis and head of bar program David Durnell comes a new cocktail bar, Amer, opening this quarter in the hotly anticipated new development Inman Quarter. Lewis calls Amer a "more specific style of cocktail bar," one that will focus on bitters and Italian amari in a small, smart space.

Little Trouble

Location: 1170 Howell Mill, Atlanta
Key Players: Paper Plane and Victory Sandwich Bar's Paul Calvert, Ian Jones, Caleb Wheelus
Projected Opening: The first quarter of 2015
Paul Calvert and partners Ian Jones and Caleb Wheelus have two bars in Decatur, and now they're opening across town in Atlanta's West Midtown neighborhood. Inspired by the visuals and food of classic walk-up stalls in Japan and Southeast Asia, Little Trouble plans to riff wildly, with the drink menu including housemade sodas and sharable cocktails in a space that embodies the casual liveliness of Victory and the sophistication of Paper Plane.

Also tracking in Atlanta:
Greg Best and Regan Smith's Krog Street Market bar
The new Inman Park Victory Sandwich Bar

[Bocado]

AUSTIN

Small Victory

Location: 108 E 7th Street, Austin
Key Players: Half Step's Josh Loving and Genuine Article's Brian Stubbs
Projected Opening: February
Two of Austin's known bar experts will take over the Mike's Pub space on East 7th early this year and bring the city a craft cocktail bar with an added emphasis on wine and sherry— and, of course, ice. The partners, who worked together at Fino, will also serve bar snacks in their 800-square-food space.

[Dick Clark + Associates]

CHICAGO

Lost Lake

Location: 3152 West Diversey Avenue, Chicago
Key Players: Paul McGee
Opening: Mid-January
Well known for tiki workmanship at the iconic Three Dots and a Dash, Paul McGee now takes his talents to Lost Lake, opening very soon in Chicago's Logan neighborhood. If tiki alone is not enough of a draw, patrons can get late night American Chinese food from the spot next door: Gabriel Friedman's Thank You, opening at the same time. Martin Cate of San Francisco's popular tiki bar Smuggler's Cove will also run a rum club at Lost Lake.

Tracking:
Bom Bolla
The Broken Shaker
Siena Tavern bar

[Lost Lake]

DENVER

Finn's Manor

Location: 2927 Larimer Street, Denver
Key Players: The Populist's Noah Price, Thomas Taylor, and Robert Sickler
Projected Opening: March
This bar-slash-food truck courtyard will have space for six trucks outside, while the cocktail bar indoors plays on a "vagabond Americana" theme, drawing inspiration from New Orleans and its classic cocktail scene. Rumor has it boozy snow cones may show up, too.

Tracking:
Milk & Honey
The Occidental

[Eater]

DETROIT

Cafe 78

Location: Museum of Contemporary Art, 4454 Woodward Avenue, Detroit; website.
Key Players: Dave Kwiatkowski and Marc Djozlija
Opening: February 6
A team of bartenders from Detroit's The Sugar House, led by owner Dave Kwiatkowski, will open a new spot inside MOCAD this winter. The cafe will serve craft cocktails inspired by art in the museum along with breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee and other beverages, and pastries.

Tracking:
Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails
Batch Brewing

[Cafe 78]

HOUSTON

Weights + Measures

Location: 2808 Caroline Street, Houston
Key Players: Mike Sammons, Richard Kaplan, Ian Rosenberg, Heath Wendell
Projected Opening: Now soft open
The cocktail component of Weights + Measures, called Love & Squalor, is headed up by Mike Sammons. Look for 70s-themed cocktails, plus beer, wine, and a full bar menu from Richard Kaplan. The bar joins a full restaurant, bakery, and coffee bar in the food hall-esque 5,000-square-foot space.

Tracking:
Barringer's forthcoming speakeasy
Johnny's Gold Brick

[Eater]

LOS ANGELES

Walker Inn and The Normandie Club

Location: Hotel Normandie, 605 South Normandie Avenue, Los Angeles
Key Players: Cedd Moses, Eric Needleman, Alex Day, Devon Tarby, David Kaplan
Projected Opening: Early 2015
A joint project by 213 Ventures (The Varnish) and Proprietors, LLC (Death & Co.), these two concepts will come soon to Koreatown's Hotel Normandie. In the hotel, find street-accessible The Normandie Club's "pretty high-tech approach to drinks" led by Daniel Eun (PDT, Honeycut), and a unique "bed and beverage program" at Walker Inn: the bar claims ten of the rooms directly above it as "kind of a club floor" for patrons who wish to spend the night.

[Hotel Normandie]

MINNEAPOLIS

Bradstreet Neighborhood Craftshouse

Location: 1930 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis; website.
Key Players: The original Bradstreet Craftshouse
Projected Opening: Winter 2014
Originally located in Downtown Minneapolis's Graves 601 Hotel, Bradstreet shuttered when the hotel was sold and plans to reopen soon in the city's uptown neighborhood. Expect some of the best cocktails in the Twin Cities when the relocation is complete this winter.

Tracking:
Saint Dinette

[The original Bradstreet]

MONTREAL

Maison Sociale

Location: 5386 Saint-Laurent, Montreal
Key Players: David Schmidt and others
Projected Opening: Early January
Replacing Mile End's Green Room, this bar/coffee shop/"new wave social club" from cocktail whisperer David Schmidt and his partners will open toward the end of this month. During the day, plans call for a coffee program (and doughnuts) as well as a one-item lunch menu. When evening hits? A full restaurant and a strong cocktail bar service from some of Montreal's best.

[Maison Sociale]

NEW YORK

The Grand Army

Location: 336 State Street, New York
Key Players: Noah Bernamoff (Mile End), Damon Boelte (Prime Meats), Julian Brizzi (Rucola)
Projected Opening: February
Three industry veterans join forces to open The Grand Army, a Boerum Hill neighborhood bar that will focus on cocktails, craft beer, and oysters. A full menu will be available, and despite the smoked meat leanings of some of the partners, it promises to stay on the lighter side.

Tracking:
The Camlin

[Google Street View]

PORTLAND, ME

The Honey Paw

Location: 78 Middle Street, Portland
Key Players: Thomas Pisha-Duffly and the Hugo's/Eventide Oyster Co. teams
Projected Opening: March 2015
Eventide, one of the nation's best restaurants, will open a new spot this March. While, yes, The Honey Paw will focus on food, like the "noodles without borders" the kitchen plans to serve, skilled bartenders will be mixing up drinks on par with the offerings at its renowned sister spot— and they'll be doing it without a signature cocktail menu.

Tracking:
Joe Ricchio and Joel Beauchamp's forthcoming bar

[Adam H. Callaghan]

PORTLAND, OR

Untitled Ham Bar Project

Location: 232 NW 12th Avenue, Portland
Key Players: Cathy Whims, Ryan Magarian, Kurt Huffman
Projected Opening: March
The trio behind Oven & Shaker plan to open a new spot, as yet unnamed, around the corner. This new cocktail bar will have a food focus on ham, sliced to order, with accompaniments ranging from Southern staples like pimento cheese and collard greens to Spanish bocadillos. To pair with chef Cathy Whims's menu, bar lead Ryan Magarian will craft a list of complementary spirits and cocktails.

Shift Drinks

Location: 1200 SW Morrison Street, Portland; website.
Key Players: Anthony Garcia (Multnomah Whiskey Library) and Alise Moffatt (Angel Face, House Spirits)
Projected Opening: Early 2015
Anthony Garcia's wine expertise coupled with Alise Moffat's cocktail knowledge will mean only good things for this newcomer to the Terminal Sales Building. The charming 3,000-square-foot space has columned ceilings, and the bar's upper deck looks out over 12th Avenue.

[Oven & Shaker]

SAN FRANCISCO

Whitechapel

Location: 600 Polk Street, San Francisco; website.
Key Players: Martin Cate, Alex Smith, John Park
Projected Opening: Early Spring
Martin Cate of Smuggler's Cove and bartenders Alex Smith and John Park will open Whitechapel in the first half of this year in San Francisco's Tenderloin. The bar aims to offer the most comprehensive selection of gins and genevers in North America; the 100-seat space will also have a bar snack menu with Dutch, British, and Bangladeshi influences. Quoth Cate, "Whitechapel is not a steampunk bar, but it is steampunk friendly."

Tracking: Bon MarcheKen Friedman and April Bloomfield's The Lusty Lady Takeover

[Whitechapel]

SEATTLE

Pennyroyal

Location: 2000 Second Avenue, Seattle; website.
Key Players: Walter Pisano
Projected Opening: January
Inside boutique hotel Palladian, Pennyroyal is set to open adjacent to new seafood restaurant Shaker + Spear. The atmosphere draws on old-world European style bars and "will give off the air of a 'social salon'" in an atmosphere in part provided by the dark wood, exposed brick, and vintage glassware of the 35-seat space. True to the theme, aged spirits and sharable punches will appear on the menu.

[Pennyroyal]

TORONTO

Bar Raval

Location: 505 College Street, Toronto
Key Player: Grant van Gameren
Projected Opening: Late January
This follow up to Little Italy hit Bar Isabel will open at the end of this month. Get pinxto-like finger food and cocktails, along with a pretty cool space. Says owner Grant van Gameren: "Bar Raval will be as much an art piece as a restaurant."

Furlough

Location: 94 Queen Street West, Toronto; website.
Key Players: Barchef's Brent VanderVeen and Frankie Solarik
Projected Opening: Mid-January
Toronto drinks can anticipate the same great cocktails in this second establishment from the owners of Barchef, opening very soon. And while the first bar skews modern, plan for more traditional offerings at Furlough: European wines, bistro dishes, classic cocktails, and even an absinthe fountain.

[Barchef]

WASHINGTON, DC

Orange Anchor

Location: 3050 K Street NW, Washington, DC; website.
Key Player: Reese Gardner
Projected Opening: January
Billed as a "nautical-inspired casual fine dining restaurant," Orange Anchor is slated to open this month in Georgetown. The cocktail menu focuses largely on rum, though the bar will serve Anchor Mules and a selection of beer— for all those coozies— as well.

[Orange Anchor]

Further Tracking:

Braindead Brewing, Dallas
Playwright Pub, Greenville, SC
Embers Ski Lodge, Nashville
The bar at St. Roch Market, New Orleans
Death & Taxes, Raleigh, NC
Somerville Brewing Company, Somerville, MA

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