Firsts are always thrilling; first kisses, first job, first time on two wheels… I had the joy of being the first customer at Atlas Bar.
The vibe at Atlas is upper west side New York neighborhood hang-out. You definitely want to spend time there because each space is so inviting, from the cheerful lipstick red barstools and table chairs to the pool table area in the back of the bar. It lures you in and allows room to get comfortable, so I did. Sitting at the end of the bar I watched as everyone in the room was humming with anxious anticipation like thoroughbreds at the starting gate. I was handed a menu, and told the kitchen wouldn’t open for a while, which didn’t bother me. I was there for a drink.
So, let’s talk Mocktails.
Perusing the menu I saw that instead of a range of Mocktails they have expeditiously put “Dealer’s Choice” on the list of drinks. This lets the bartender on duty decide exactly what you’ll get. Being a person who likes surprises, this way of ordering was exciting and fun. It gives the customer a chance to have A) a drink specifically made to their tastes, or B) a drink that expresses the personality of the person behind the bar.
Samira and Marcus were tending the bar- two dealers, two different drinks. First up was Samira’s lovely fruit with a ginger-zip drink that was tasty. She easily reproduced the same drink for another customer, qualifying it as a standard – I dubbed it the “Atlas Standard”. I asked Marcus what sort of mocktail would he deal, and he did a little research into what types of drinks I prefer. After getting his answers he laid down the voodoo that he do so well and concocted a drink that very much tasted like an old fashioned, I’ll call it “Voodoo Doll”. Of course, these are just made up names for my amusement. Every time I go back to Atlas Bar I hope to have something new.
After spending time talking to people and watching the crowd grow it was time to move on. I will always remember my first at Atlas Bar, and the irony of me being the first customer wasn’t lost on the owner, Tony Poe. “I’ll never forget the first drink we made was a Mocktail”, he mused as we said our good-byes.