After years of teasing, an official video reveals that award-winning Chicago chef Grant Achatz is finally opening in New York City. He’ll debut an outpost of the acclaimed experimental cocktail bar the Aviary at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Manhattan this summer. “It’ll be slightly more buttoned-up than Chicago and the cocktails will reflect the history of the NYC bar history,” says Achatz’s business partner Nick Kokonas, noting the group is “striving to make the Aviary NYC of its place above Central Park.” Micah Melton, a 2015 Eater Young Gun and the beverage director at the original Aviary location in Chicago, will be involved with this new location.
The envelope-pushing Aviary — widely considered to be one of the best cocktail bars in Chicago and in America — opened in 2011. The cocktails often feature interactivity (as in the iconic In the Rocks), or interesting tools or serving vessels (like the Porthole Infuser). The bar also made headlines because it’s the rare drinking establishment that’s also a ticketed experience. Kokonas told Eater back in 2014 that with the ticketed model, no-shows at the Aviary dropped to less than one percent.
Along with progressive cocktails, the Aviary also offers several food experiences: seven-course and five-course food and cocktail pairings, in addition to a more standard a la carte drinking and dining menu.
As at the Chicago location, the NYC Aviary will also have a sister concept: the Office, which in Chicago is a subterranean speakeasy-style bar. Given the New York City bar’s location on the 35th floor of the Time Warner Center, the Office in NYC will presumably have a different vibe. “We’ve been working on this for more than three years,” Kokonas says of the openings. “It’s an exciting time for the Alinea Group.”
Stay tuned for more details as they become available and in the meantime, watch the teaser video below: