Experimental Chicago Bar The Aviary Is Headed to NYC

We’re calling it now: Aviary NYC will be the summer blockbuster of the New York drinking scene. The innovative Chicago bar has announced plans to open an outpost in the Big Apple this summer, raining down their creative cocktails and innovative bar eats on thirsty east coasters. While the enterprising crew will likely debut new drinks or concepts in the New York space, which will make a new home in the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Columbus Circle, we can only hope they’re bringing their famous porthole infusions east as well.

At the original location of The Aviary, beverage director Micah Melton and restaurateurs Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas have created a bar program where drink makers are closer to scientists than bartenders. The team create futuristic cocktails—like an Old Fashioned frozen within an ice sphere or an edible Painkiller—with molecular gastronomic techniques and high tech kitchen gadgets like infusers, ice molds and dehydrators. Achatz’s world class cooking at Alinea, which briefly popped up in New York last year, may also make its way to the new Aviary outpost, so expect some insane bar food too.

While lucky New Yorkers get to feast on The Aviary’s brilliantly boozy creations this year, the expansion will hopefully continue to other major cities in the future, just as other influential cocktail bars like Death & Co. set up satellite locations further west. It’s a good year to be a cocktail drinker.