A new cocktail bar will open today in Fort Lauderdale's Himmarshee Village. Known as Apothecary 330, it stands as the co-concept to newly-opened Pizzacraft. The space, designed by JEY Hospitality co-founder Marc Falsetto and general manager Scott Kurzawinski, is being dubbed by its creators as the city's (and Broward County's) first cocktail club.
Inhabiting the same building as the newly opened Pizzacraft — JEY's fourth establishment in the Himmarshee district — their Second Avenue location was inspiration for part of the name Apothecary 330, also the address number. The bar, on the same street as one-year-old Tacocraft, Rok:Brgr, Himmarshee Public House, Bull Market, and Tarpon Bend, joins the area's burgeoning restaurant and nightlife scene.
The Apothecary 330 space features a short copper bar with seating for up to 15, mirrored by a cozy lounge area where bottle service will be the main attraction on the weekends. The cavernous interior lounge includes a t-shaped custom-built red leather couch, and walls adorned with turn-of-the-century nicknacks like old sewing machines and decades-old apothecary jars the owners' sourced from nearby vintage dealers. A brick wall with the Apothecary logo painted in white is offset by red velveteen-covered wallpaper, both of which provide the backdrop for an extensive spirits collection.
Behind the bar, imbibers can find an assortment of rare and specialty liquors, approximately 250 bottles with a focus on bourbon and whiskey. The collection includes a number of imported picks you might not see at many bars in the area, including three — an aged, single, and blended malt — from Japan.
"Back in the day the apothecary was your pharmacist, your druggist, and chemist. With Apothecary, we wanted to pay homage to that era. This is the first place we have done that feels like a cocktail bar for the neighborhood," said Kurzawinski. "For us, it's the city's first true cocktail club, with a focus on exacting cocktails at the highest level that we can offer them."
By club, Kurzawinski means classy. A strict dress code will be enforced at all times, and special members' only coins will be issued to select individuals from the surrounding community. Coin-holders will be given special privileges including entry into a members' only night, and access to private tasting or pairing events.
To set Apothecary apart from other area cocktail bars, this is one haunt that won't be employing your average bartender, but rather "bar chefs" says Falsetto, master drink-crafters that were sourced through the Miami chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild. They'll be executing a short list of specialty drinks that will rotate monthly, featuring two cocktail categories: classics and Himmarshee elixirs.
Apothecary's interpretation of classic cocktails will provide the foundation of the menu, which also offers boutique wine, 20 taps for local craft beer, and additional drink options based on a single spirit exploration. Many of the selections — mainly the wine — are meant to reflect neighboring concept, Pizzacraft, and the home-style Italian fare coming from executive chef Bret Hauser.
"Vintage classics" include modern takes on old-world favorites like the Sazerac, Hemingway daiquiri, NY sour, a gin fizz, margarita, and — of course — the Old Fashioned. The "Himmarshee elixirs" take on a collaborative effort, cutting-edge takes designed by the Apothecary staff made using small batch and high-end spirits and an arsenal of homemade bitters, barrel aged liquors and infusions, syrups, and foams.
Keep an eye out for the first infusion, adds Kurzawinski, dubbed the French Connection. The three-month-aged drink combines equal parts mescal tequila, Aperol, and yellow chartreuse. The name is a reference to the three countries that each spirit hails from — the smoky Mexican mezcal tequila; the bitter Italian aperitif, Aperol; and chartreuse, the French liqueur made by the Carthusian Monks since 1737.
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That includes the NY Sour, a whiskey sour re-imagined by Apothecary bar chef Kyle Mercado. The newfangled take on the classic cocktail offers up an Italian twist, a drink that combines rye whiskey, lemon juice, egg white, and a house made Tahitian vanilla bean bark syrup. The ingredients are given a dry shake and poured into a short glass over ice, then layered with baby Amarone wine, a rich Italian dry red wine made from the partially dried grapes of the Corvina or Rondinella varietals. The result is a robust, powerful sipper that manages to draw the line
"We're going back to basics here. This is all about giving South Florida a contemporary cocktail culture," said Falsetto. "Like everything in life — and cocktails — it's all about balance. Apothecary is that place to find a good drink in good company."
Apothecary 330 is located at 330 SE Second Ave., Fort Lauderdale. The bar will be open for business at 8 p.m. on Thursday, October 15, following the Pizzacraft ribbon cutting ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to midnight, and Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.