Food & Drink

A cocktail joint with oysters and live music

Being part of a passion project is great, unless you're Jewish, in which case working with Mel is the Pits. To literally drink in someone else's passion instead, head over to The Wayland, a live music cocktail bar from a duo whose many years 'tending, cooking, and consulting have finally resulted in a place to call their own. A small-plates kitchen's connected to the bar to better share ingredients, staff'll jump out from behind the epoxied poured concrete bar to kick out jams on the piano, and secondhand elements range from fixtures from a nearby demolished school, to a door from Andy Warhol's studio they've dubbed "Andy Doorhole"

The cocktails reflect an experimental DIY ethos, with hours of shift prep work including making homemade bitters in flavors like radish, Key lime, and spiced apple, creating myriad house sodas and syrups, and frigid tasks from crafting "smoked ice" (literally pulling smoke through water prior to freezing it), to hand-carving spheres of the stuff from huge blocks that'll be delivered weekly, probably by Dikembe Mutombo

All that effort makes for some seriously interesting cocktails, with hot seasonal tipples including "The Mexican Standoff" (mezcal & barrel-aged cocoa tequila mixed w/ a blend of dark choco, cocoa nibs, and cayenne) prepared tableside. Chilled options, meanwhile, count Fernet & cola on tap, and a moonshine/ applewood smoked ice/ spiced apple bitters joint (served covered by a smoke-filled upside-down glass) called "The Old Back Woods (I Hear Banjos…)", best had in moderation so you don't feel like a pig

Not to be overlooked, the kitchen'll plate an ever-changing selection of also-seasonal chow (roasted bone marrow, chicken liver & bacon sandwiches...), plus there'll always be a selection of predominantly local oysters and some form of "braised or roasted beast", exactly what Mel thinks everyone will end up being anyway.