Barman Matt Piacentini, who opened the dearly-departed East Village bar The Beagle, and then the much-loved gastropub Clyde Common in Portland, is back in town and putting the final touches on his cocktail bar The Up & Up. The bar, which Piacentini described to the Village Voice as "high end but low key" has been in the works for more than a year, but Piacentini is thankful for the extra time. "There was this specific subset of super-serious cocktail bar, and that's gone through a lot of growing pains...It's now at this turning point," he said, where one can drink a fine cocktail with the pretension dialed down. Piacentini plans to serve four categories of cocktails: house drinks, classics, mini-cocktails (or "craft shots"), and a cocktail version of bottle service for large groups.
The team is finishing up the build-out right now with a tradition of Piacentini's. He's put a note and a bottle of The Glenrothes Vintage 1992 2nd Edition Scotch into one of the bar's walls, which he plans to open in 10 years, or leave for someone else who occupies the space and decides to renovate it in years to come. The space already has good bones. The location also happens to be the former home of the Gaslight Cafe, the famed beat haunt of the 1960s, where Bob Dylan used to perform. Piacentini plans to refinish it with brown leather banquettes, marble tables, and vintage floral wallpaper, inspired by an old watch. Expect a mid-February opening.
A note for the finder of the bottle: