If you want to try cocktails at the Shaw Bijou, opening Nov. 1, you’ll have to splurge on the $185 tasting menu (with $95-$185 drink pairings) or pay a yet-to-be-determined fee for a membership to the private bar upstairs.
Or you can pay $14 per drink at a Shaw Bijou cocktail pop-up at Central on Oct. 6 and 7 from 7 to 9:30 pm. This may be the first time a $14 cocktail seems like deal.
The Shaw Bijou head bartender Ben Long previously worked at Central alongside wine director Brian Zipin. The two collaborated on a seven-cocktail menu (see below), which honors two recently deceased stars in the food and drink world: chef Michel Richard and New York bartender Sasha Petraske. Long, who spent several years bartending in New York, previously worked with Petraske. The Milk & Honey founder loved pear liqueur, and so the menu includes three pear cocktails. All the tips from the pop-up will go to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, a favorite charity of Richard’s.
These drinks won’t necessarily be on the Shaw Bijou’s cocktail menu though, because the restaurant doesn’t exactly have a cocktail menu. “It’s going to be omakase or bartender’s choice,” Long explains. Diners will have their first course at the bar upstairs, where they’ll get their choice of a welcome beer, wine, or cocktail. “We ask them a couple questions and then we sort of form a cocktail to what they’re telling us,” he says. There will also be a cocktail as part of the wine-focused drink pairings.
Memberships for the bar and lounge haven’t quite been sorted out yet, Long says. The plan, though, is to have a 24-hour concierge service, so members can drop in at any hour they please. The bar will also offer a bottle-hunting service where members can request rare bottles of whiskey, and the staff will track them down (for a fee).