Umbrella-adorned, flaming, and very colorful tropical drinks of Major Food Group’s new tiki bar The Polynesian will be available in Midtown West’s Pod Hotel starting tonight.
The third-floor bar fits about 200 — half of them in a lounge, sit-down area, and standing bar area and half of them in an L-shaped outdoor patio space lined with oversized plants. Owner and bartender Brian Miller, who calls himself a pirate and has been obsessed with tiki bars for years, created the drink menu here, with input and food snack options from MFG partners Jeff Zalaznick, Mario Carbone, and Rich Torrisi.
Cocktails start at $15 and, as par for the course for a tiki bar, many come in mugs with iconographic carvings or with a pale blue ocean and island illustration. And as is on brand for Major Food Group (Carbone, the Grill), many of the beverages are over-the-top. The Vaya Kon Tiki, which has coconut rooibos tea-infused rum, cayenne coconut cream, ginger, cinnamon, and tropical juices, comes in a heavy skull-shaped mugs and arrives with a lemon that’s literally on fire.
Four large-format cocktails are available, served in a fish bowl, a clam shell, and a treasure chest. The Hokule’a punch, which serves two people, costs $38 and includes rums, raspberry, cinnamon, orgeat, and tropical juices. Food includes snacks like jerk chicken satay, crab rangoon, and coconut shrimp, as well as a burger and spicy fries.
Miller is a serious cocktail guy with experience at places like Pegu Club and Death and Co. Tiki drinks, though, have been his passion, and he goes hard on the tropical theme. Expect to see him in a sarong and with pirate-inspired face paint on when he’s behind the bar. See more photos of the space here, and take a look at the full opening menu below.
The Polynesian lands in Midtown West tonight and is open from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Monday through Friday, and 12 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.