[Photo via] The people over at Tales of the Cocktail thinks it's The Varnish, choosing it as one of four nominations in the category of Best American Cocktail Bar in their Spirited Awards. The speakeasy-like establishment is very nondescript, hidden even, behind a set of doors at the back of Cole's restaurant on E. 6th St.
[photo via] Inside, the darkly lit space with its octagonal-tiled floor, simple wooden booths, and sharply dressed waitresses and mixologists create the feeling of being transported back in time to the prohibition era. It also stands apart from the typical bar experience in that everyone gets seated at tables, just like a restaurant, meaning no standing around, crowding the bar, or fighting for the bartender's attention. How civilized!
Aside from its mystique and the feeling of being in on a well-kept secret, The Varnish's cocktails are some of the best we've had. Eric Alperin, the watering hole's star mixologist has even been nominated in Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Award for American Bartender of the Year.
You'll have to wait until next month to find out the winners of the Spirited Awards. But until then, we wish Alperin and The Varnish the best of luck and encourage you guys to go and see why it might be named the Best American Cocktail Bar. Try the Palma Fizz, our personal favorite!