After a crazy, fast month-long transition, Cane and Table, the new rum lounge from Cure Co., is opening next week, Ian McNulty reports. The space was formerly Pravda, until Cure Co's Neal Bodenheimer and his team, including rum-guy Nick Detrich, took it over late last year, operating pop up Perestroika at Pravda and even adding a food menu, while readying themselves for the transformation into proto-tiki.
Eater just talked on the phone to Neal Bodenheimer and Nick Detrich (who had noisy construction workers looming around him), as they're finishing up construction, and otherwise gearing up to open just in time to dive into the feeding-frenzy of Tales of the Cocktail boozers. Scary? Yes.
While Detrich refers to next week as "sink or swim mode," Bodenheimer says the stress is there "any time you open a place. You don't have automatic muscle memory. But the advantage is most of the staff worked at Perestroika." As for any other memories of that bar, well... Beidenheimer says the sheetrock was all crumbling, and has been taken down to expose beautiful brick and woodwork. The mirrors that were a Pravda signature have been redone, the plumbing brought up to code, and the bar remodeled into an elliptical shape featuring a white marble top and enough room to have three bartenders on duty.
"Another good thing about the transition," Detrich says, "is we had time to train the staff in Tiki, Prohibition, and Colonial rum drinks. We're doing cocktails that inhabit all those spaces, with subtlety, not overwhelming."
"Yeah," Bodenheimer says, "I think it's no secret that I'm not the hugest fan of tiki drinks. It gets a little overpowering. I hate pineapple." But Bodenheimer is very happy with the cocktail menu at Cane and Table, which isn't overpowering, or even necessarily sweet, sort of co-existing in the same classical-meets-modern ideal found at Cure and Bellocq. Detrich has been busy making his own Cherry Bounce and toying with Falernum to keep things interesting.
The bar will also have what Ian McNulty calls an "island-themed restaurant," but don't expect Margaritaville up in here. Adam Biderman, the mastermind behind Company Burger, will cook the likes of fresh whole fish and deep-fried ribs, with large helpings, communal-style servings, and plates brimming with sides like plantain dumplings and greens. And the Cure Co. assures everyone that "the food is fucking gangster."
While the guys will stay busy manning their bars during Tales of the Cocktail. On Saturday night, they'll attend the Spirited Awards in hopes of claiming Best American Cocktail Bar for Cure, or as Bodenheimer puts it: "For New Orleans."