May 11, 2018
Mary’s is the brainchild of Jake Smyth (from Bodega) and Kenny Graham (former bartender at Gardel’s Bar). This hip micro-tavern is the newest occupant for a 100 year old building which in its time has housed a Masonic Hall, a pool club and, erm, a sexual health clinic. The two-level space has been given a major facelift, the new interior has a rough, industrial feel, all dark wood and white-tile with lamp shades made from old bourbon bottles. It’s not the easiest place to find, mind, so be on the look-out for the unmarked door just past Kelly’s on King. They stock a good range of craft beers including Moo Brew and Mountain Goat and there’s Carlton black on tap. The wine list foregrounds the French and American and there’s the, by now obligatory, emphasis on biodynamic varieties. Cocktails are on the money too, particularly the Puritan, gleeful mix of gin, vermouth, yellow Chartreuse, and orange bitters. We also like the sound of the Dirty Old Bastard, which blends rye, sweet vermouth and Campari with a dash of Fernet Branca. In the kitchen, ex-Tetsuyas head chef Luke Powell, is serving up some epic burgers, making this place a contender for best burger joint in town. You have to try their ‘trashcan bacon’ which, as the name suggests, is prepared in an old garbage can. They also serve superior fried chicken and wonderfully rich mash and gravy (served, like everything else, in paper-lined plastic basket). The place has a fun, lively vibe making it a real highlight of the Newtown bar scene.