First look: Danny Meyer opens first stand-alone bar, Porchlight

The gist

Danny Meyer is opening his first stand-alone cocktail bar at the Waterfront New York Terminal building in West Chelsea next Monday. The Southern-inspired Porchlight features cocktails by GM Mike Shain and head bartender Nicholas Bennett and food by new Blue Smoke chef Jean-Paul Bourgeois. The whole project has been spearheaded by Union Square Hospitality Group alum Mark Maynard-Parisi along with director of operations Kari Matthews.

The space

Located in the 120-year-old Waterfront Terminal building, which also houses Union Square Events, the 4,000-sq.-ft. barroom was designed by boutique firm Parts and Labor. Exposed-brick walls and rustic midcentury light fixtures offer a cozy yet industrial feel. The bar also features an indoor "porch" which will act as a stage for live music and spoken-word performances as well as a game room in the back.

The drinks

Inspired by Southern classics, the cocktail list includes a take on Sazerac, a curious blue curaçao concoction called Gun Metal Blue (made with mezcal, peach brandy, lime and cinnamon) and the Storm's Brewin' made with Hamilton Jamaican Gold Rum, Appleton Rum, lemon, passion fruit and homemade grenadine. There's also craft beer and an array of wines; two cocktails on tap are coming soon.
The food: Expect snacks like the avocado and crab toast, shrimp and shrimp crackers, fried frogs' legs and a bison burger. 

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