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America's Most Anticipated New Bars, Fall 2015

Get excited, new drinks await.

Pour Society in Houston.
Pour Society in Houston.
Facebook/Pour Society

The end of summer is often the cause for many to shed a few tears, but fortunately, this fall, the bars everyone has been waiting for all year are finally opening. Many exciting power projects are forthcoming, like Eastern Standard's Branch Line in Boston and, of course, GreenRiver in Chicago from The Dead Rabbit crew and Danny Meyer's Union Square Events. In Los Angeles, after five years of anticipation, the historic Clifton's Cafeteria will debut its renovated glory on September 17. Prepare your livers, here's what's coming in the next few months.

Atlanta

Himitsu

Location: 3050 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, GA
Key Players: Farshid Arshid, Shingo Gokan and T. Fable Jeon, Fuyuhiko Ito
Projected Opening: Early September 2015
Situation: Himitsu, the Umi Sushi Group's new upscale lounge, was originally slated to open in May, but it's waiting on Baccarat to finish making every crystal glass first. Mixologists Shingo Gokan and T. Fable Jeon, both behind The Lawrence and Le Fat cocktail programs, are designing drinks for the reservations-only venue, while chef Fuyuhiko Ito (Umi) will spearhead small plates.

Illustration: Design Research Studio

Austin

Union Venture Group's Rock Rose Bars

Location: 11500 Rock Rose Avenue, Austin, TX
Key Players: Jeff and Darren Van Delden
Projected Opening: Fall 2015
Situation: Four new bars are popping up in Domain’s Rock Rose shopping district: 77 Degrees rooftop and rum cocktail bar, two-story The Rose Room dance club, Saint Genevieve cocktail lounge, and Jack and Ginger’s Irish Pub. Expect a Bloody Mary bar during Sunday brunch at Saint Genevieve, meanwhile Jack and Ginger's will have 82 beers on tap.

Photo: Union Venture Group

Boston

Branch Line

Location: 311 Arsenal Street, Boston, MA
Key Players: Garrett Harker and Andrew Holden
Projected Opening: September 2015
Situation: Eastern Standard proprietor Garrett Harker is teaming up with the restaurant's GM Andrew Holden for a new drinks-focused spot named Branch Line headed to the Arsenal in the Charles complex. The beverage program won't have a cocktail menu as the venue only has a beer and wine license, but will showcase 20 regularly rotating local craft beers on tap and esoteric Old World wines. There will be an outdoor keg room leading up to the entrance.

Photo: Garrett Harker by Kristen Teig

Charleston

Mercantile and Mash

Location: 701 E Bay Street, Charleston, SC
Key Players: Steve Palmer, Jeremiah Schenzel, and Teddy Nixon
Projected Opening: September 2015
Situation: This new project from The Indigo Road hospitality group is located at The Cigar Factory and includes a gourmet food retail space, a private event space, and a bar called Mash. The 1,700-square-foot bar will serve American spirits, beers and bar snacks, and also involves an indoor bocce court and arcade. Jeremiah Schenzel (The Cocktail Club) and Teddy Nixon (formerly of Edmund's Oast) will run the show.

Photo: Facebook/Mercantile and Mash

Chicago

GreenRiver

Location: 259 E. Erie Street, Chicago, IL
Key Players: Jack McGarry, Danny Meyer, Aaron Lirette, Sean Muldoon
Projected Opening: September 2015
Situation: Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry of New York's The Dead Rabbit (winners of numerous Tales of the Cocktail awards) are teaming up with beloved New York restaurateur Danny Meyer's Union Square Events to consult on this Irish-themed whiskeyintensive bar and restaurant that pays homage to Chicago. The cocktail menuwhich is divided in eight sections according to "raw materials used for distilling spirits" like corn, rye, and agavewill share stories of famous and infamous Chicagoans.

Photo: GreenRiver

The Sixth

Location: 2200 W. Lawrence, Chicago, IL
Key Players: Ben Schiller
Projected Opening: Late fall 2015
Situation: Fifty/50 beverage director Ben Schiller's craft cocktail bar, his second for the restaurant group, will elevate drinking in Lincoln Square. Expect a 40-seat bar serving barrel-aged cocktails, fun drinks like the Trix cereal-inspired "Silly Rabbit," and a selection of vintage spirits that go as far back as the '30s.

Photo: Facebook/The Sixth

Denver

The Occidental

Location: 1950 W. 32nd Avenue, Denver, CO
Key Players: Sean Kenyon, Chad Michael George, Kade Gianinetti and Jared Schwartz
Projected Opening: Early September
Situation: For those looking to kill time constructively while awaiting reservations at Williams & Grant, crowned "Best Bar in America" this year at Tales of the Cocktail, there's this much anticipated bar also by Sean Kenyon. It'll be more casual than its W&G neighbor. Explains Kenyon, "It's a neighborhood bar, with the same DIY philosophy of a cocktail bar."

Photo: Facebook/The Occidental

The Way Back

Location: 4132 W 38th Avenue, Denver, CO
Key Players: Chad Michael George, Kade Gianinetti and Jared Schwartz
Projected Opening: November 2015 
Situation: Barman Chad Michael George (Williams & Graham) is targeting November as the opening date for his modern but rustic cocktail-focused bar with former Linger Restaurant co-workers Kade Gianinetti and Jared Schwartz. The 2,000-square-foot bar also has a 3,000-square-foot patio, and George describes the cocktail program as being simplistic yet creative, "not going overboard with the number of ingredients or trying to reinvent the wheel but using quality ingredients." Indeed expect a slushie machine or two for the patio.

Photo: Word & Roger

Detroit

The Skip and Standby

Location: 1301 Broadway, 1301 Broadway Street, Detroit, MI
Key Players: Brendon Edwards and Joe Robinson
Projected Opening: September 2015
Situation: The Skip, a casual outdoor bar, and its more upscale bar/restaurant counterpart, Standby, will debut next month in the artsy Belt alley. Think laid back cocktails best enjoyed outside like frozen Negronis and Daiquiris, as well as buckets of beer at the Skip. Standby will feature chef Edwards' progressive American bar food and 50 original and classic cocktails by Robinson.

Photo: Brenna Houck

Houston

Pour Society

Location: 947 North Gessner Suite B190, Houston, TX
Key Players: Bradley Ogden
Projected Opening: September 1, 2015
Situation: The modern-day pub by James Beard Award winning chef Bradley Ogden (Bradley's Fine Diner and Funky Chicken) will offer craft bottled and draft beers, as well as four rotating cocktails on tap and a domestic wine list to pair with classic American cuisine.

Photo: Facebook/Pour Society

Los Angeles

Clifton's Cafeteria

Location: 648 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA
Key Players: Andrew Meieran, Jason Fullilove, Damian Windsor
Projected Opening: September 17, 2015
Situation: After five years of restoration and four years out of operation, this downtown L.A. landmark (originally opened in the '30s), which has served green Jell-O to the likes of Ray Bradbury and L. Ron Hubbard, is finally about to make its much anticipated debut. Andrew Meieran (The Edison), the man behind the venue's ambitious rebuild, has signed on chef Jason Fullilove (Ray's and Stark Bar) to helm the kitchen, while barman Damian Windsor (Roger Room) will conduct drinks for Clifton's five cocktail bars. Expect a Tiki bar, a gothic bar, an industrial basement bar, plus more.

Photo: Wonho Frank Lee

Fiscal Agent

Location: TBD
Key Players: Bill ChaitJulian Cox
Projected Opening: Fall 2015
Situation: This is restaurateur Bill Chait's first dedicated cocktail bar. Even though it's scheduled to open around the same time as Chait's largest restaurant project ever on Rose in Venice, and his Otium restaurant downtown with Eli Broad and chef Tim Hollingsworth, beverage director Julian Cox says the drinkery is still slated for a fall debut.

Photo: Facebook/Bill Chait

Miami

Beaker & Gray

Location: 2637 N Miami Ave, Miami, FL
Key Players: Brian Nasajon and Ben Potts
Projected Opening: September 2015
Situation: Ben Potts, formerly of Broken Shaker, heads the bar program at chef Brian Nasajon's forthcoming 3,600-square-foot bar/restaurant. The cocktail menu will be divided into three sections of "Shaken," "Stirred" and "Strange," with the "Strange" component "designed for those seeking an off-the-wall cocktail experience." The 13-seat bar will stay open late.

Photo: Facebook/Beaker & Gray

New York City

Milk & Hops Chelsea

Location: 365 W 20th Street, New York, NY
Key Players: Yang Gao
Projected Opening: November 1, 2015
Situation: Owner Yang Gao will expand his reach with a new flagship craft beer shop and bar in Chelsea. Since this new space is larger than the72-seat  Union Square Milk & Hops, expect even more than the 300 beers he already carries. Gao plans to open up more beer and cheese projects in town if all goes well with this new location.

Photo: Facebook/Milk & Hops

Robert

Location: 112 Bond Street, Brooklyn, NY
Key Players: Phil Morgan and Josh White
Projected Opening: September 14, 2015
Situation: The new 35-capacity cocktail bar next door to Phil Morgan's popular Building on Bond will be done up in a 1970s Midwestern motel theme, furnished with flea market finds and even a vintage jukebox. Josh White (Tavern on the GreenBowery Meat Company) is slated to head the cocktail program, which spotlights local spirits.

Photo: Tipline/Phil Morga

Portland

La Moule

Location: 2500 Southeast Clinton Street, Portland, OR
Key Players: Aaron Barnett, Tommy Klus, Cameron Addy
Projected Opening: September 2015
Situation: La Moule, a moule frites and beer restaurant, will take over the former Savoy Tavern space. Anticipate a selection of Belgian and local beers, but a classic cocktail menu by Tommy Klus of Multnomah Whiskey Library.

Photo: Facebook/La Moule

Paydirt

Location: 2705 Northeast Sandy Boulevard, Portland, OR
Key Players: Ezra Ace Caraeff
Projected Opening: September 2015
Situation: Paydirt, a new multi micro-restaurant project, will be the go-to spot for drinks in the Zipper. The drinkery will feature a 50-foot-long bar with 12 draft beers and a selection of bourbons. "Our cocktail list will be seriously crafted and playful, yet absent of all Portland pretense," Caraeff says. Guests can enjoy their drinks inside or on the patio sitting by the pair of firepits.

Photo: Facebook/Paydirt

San Francisco

The Dorian

Location: 2001 Chestnut Street, San Francisco, CA
Key Players: Anderson Pugash, Benson Wang, Jack Herr, Jason Saunders, Chris Goodyear, Guri Walia, Anthony Parks
Projected Opening: September 2015
Situation: Expect an inventory of over 75 whiskies, as well as updated classic cocktails by drinks consultant Anthony Parks (50/50 Cocktail Club) at the Oscar Wilde-inspired bar and restaurant. Designer Shelly Amaroso will add windows to lighten up the space, which was previously occupied by the clubby Circa.

Photo: San Francisco Days

Hamlet

Location: 1199 Church Street, San Francisco, CA
Key Players: John Dampeer
Projected Opening: Late September 2015
Named after Noe Valley's small town feel, Hamlet takes over the recently closed Horner's Corner. John Dampeer, of the neighboring Caskhouse, will enlarge the kitchen and add a bar as well as a new floor and overall layout. The space's full liquor license will allow for a "carefully curated" cocktail program.

Photo: Eater SF

Photo: Facebook

Whitechapel

Location: 600 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA
Key Players: Martin Cate, Alex Smith, John Park
Projected Opening: Imminent 
Situation: Lauded tiki titan and rum expert Martin Cate of Smuggler's Cove is next fixating on gin. At Whitechapel, he plus bartenders Alex Smith and John Park (a managing partner at Novela) are looking to stock the most comprehensive selection of gins and genevers in the country at over 400 plus bottles, and they' even got Distillery No. 209 producing a bespoke distillate. Overall, the team plans to mix cocktails that display gin's versatility and history in a 100 seat space which, according to Cate, looks like "a Victorian-era distillery that happened to open in an abandoned London Underground station."

Facebook/Whitechapelsf

Washington D.C.

Left Door

Location: 1345 S St. NW, Washington, D.C.
Key Players: Tom Brown
Projected Opening: October 2015
Situation: Tom Brown's Left Door will be the sophisticated counterpart to his shuttered drinkery The Passenger (which is slated to reopen in a new location next February). The bar took over the small, 35-seat space previously occupied by Salvadorean/Mexican eatery Las Marias. No draft beer here as the bar program will focus only on cocktails, particularly classic cocktails, mostly priced $10 to $14.

Photo: Left Door

The Twisted Horn

Location: 819 Upshur St. NW, Washington, D.C.
Key Players: Jamie Leeds and Megan Coyle
Projected Opening: Fall 2015
Situation: Megan Coyle will design the drinks for this new snacks-and-cocktails bar by Hank's Oyster Bar chef Jamie Leeds. Expect unusual drink offerings like The Saboteur Sling made with ramp and jalapeño-infused gin. The 40-person space, a former church, also has a patio where 40 more guests can cozy up around a firepit.

Photo: Facebook/The Twisted Horn

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