If I’ve learned anything about New York it’s that you can’t judge a bar by it’s cover. Not referring to entrance fees as much as street appearance. One of my all-time favorite drinking dens is 100% proof of this: Apotheke.
Did you ever see that Scorsese movie from the 80s called “After Hours?” It starred Griffin Dunne and Rosanna Arquette and the whole thing was about Dunne’s character trying to get home from Soho. Trust me on this, when you finally find Doyers Street in Chinatown, you will completely relive that movie. How many empty little roads are there in Manhattan? But once you arrive outside what appears to be the Gold Flower Restaurant, positive you’re in the wrong place, curiosity will get the best of you and you’ll try a door until one opens and then, talk about a pleasant surprise.
Influenced by absinthe dens in Paris in the 19th century, Apotheke is unique in every way, from the hidden street that leads to the unusual entrance that transports you to another era where mixologists turn the bar into a stage and concoct colorful libations designed to cure any ailment. You may have heard of this place. The Housewives of NY once made an appearance there and not long ago the owner was arrested for pouring alcohol on the bar and setting it on fire (you can see this on YouTube, by the way). But there’s so much to be said of the self-proclaimed first bar to adhere to “Farm to Bar” ideology, which means it sources all of its produce for cocktails from local organic markets and their own rooftop herb garden.
So, check out their events page for info on live jazz Mondays, Tuesdays and Sundays and here’s something I didn’t know, there’s an Apotheke Academy, which consists of one-day mixology and cocktail making classes of varying topics. Seems I could never tire of learning about the birth of the Speakeasy. I do hope you avoid any annoying doorman issues and just promise me you’ll try to go early – at least the first time you’re there so you can really absorb the whole experience. I hate crowds. Two final words of caution: Skip the tarot card reader and do not, I repeat, do not order something called The Straight Jacket. I can’t recall what’s in it, but then again, I can’t recall anything after ordering it.
Apotheke — http://www.Apothekenyc.com
9 Doyers St.