Acme's Jon Neidich is settling into a busy two weeks. His Mexican/Asian mashup Tijuana Picnic with Jean-Marc Houmard and Huy Chi Le is slated to finally open on November 3 in the old Laugh Lounge Space. But before that happens, he will open his retro-style bar and restaurant The Happiest Hour with Jim Kearns, who counts stints at Pegu Club, The NoMad, and Death & Co among his experience. The back-to-back opening might explain why Tijuana took so long.
The space at the Happiest Hour is dark, but also tropically inspired. The bar plans to serve a small curated menu of seven drinks like the Sugar Shack (salted maple syrup, vermouth, soda, made with rum, applejack, or bourbon) and What the Doctor Ordered (sarsaparilla, vanilla, wintergreen, soda with rye, rum or scotch) and seven classics including a manhattan and an old fashioned. The most novel part of this cocktail menu is that all of the house drinks offer the drinker a choice of three different base spirits, and anything can be made with vodka instead (if that's really what you want to do).
There's a small food menu to go along with all that, which includes a burger, the requisite kale salad, buffalo cucumbers (which sound like they were lifted right of the Parm menu), and a curiously named salt and broccoli. The bar seats 15, but there's also a dining room which seats another 55. Downstairs, a separate bar area with a more old school vibe and a soundtrack of Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, and Gladys Knight, will open sometime soon. 121 West 10th Street, Greenwich Village