May 11, 2018
The classic cocktail bar never goes out of fashion. Trends come and go but there’s a certain template for which the appeal never fades. The combination of a dark, warm interior and drinks prepared with care is a winner every time. The Varnish is just the latest in a long line of venues that casts a respectful eye back to a more refined time. Concealed behind an oak door marked with a little picture of a cocktail, the downtown bar specialises in top notch drinks made with well-chosen ingredients: juices, berries, herbs and a vast array of premium spirits. Inside you’ll find a handsomely appointed space with wooden booths and an understated Depression-era atmosphere. The crowd is upmarket and the mood suitably smooth.
Photo credit: http://213dthospitality.com/project/the-varnish/
What their peers say
“Managing partner Eric Alperin honed his skills as a bartender under Sasha Petraske in New York City, then headed west to Los Angeles: one of the final frontiers for cocktails in the U.S. His clandestine bar in the back of Cole’s French Dip is the perfect place to steal away and listen to the piano player tickle the ivory as the bartender shakes like a bebop jazz musician’s metronome.” Jim Meehan of PDT, New York
“The Left Coast’s Premier Classic Cocktail bar manned with diligent, service-oriented bartenders who are in it for life.” Ryan Magarian