For former Violet Hour star bartenders Robby Haynes and Henry Prendergast, their new bar Analogue (opening at 6 p.m.) is about creative freedom. Freedom to mix whatever drinks they want. Freedom to completely change the menu at will. Freedom for patrons to dress anyway they want, to move around the space, to mingle, to be themselves.
"We want to take the pretentiousness out of the craft cocktail scene," Haynes says. "I've had enough of these concepts—It's like a Disneyland."
What they hope Analogue will be is an inclusive enclave for the creative community—artists, musicians, the bar and restaurant industry. They say it will be rowdy, creative, and intimate. They say it will be a "middle finger to conventional wisdom."
While the cocktail pedigree they learned at the Violet Hour will be on display, don't expect a specific concept. The bones of the drink menu will stay in place: Purls (beer preserved with bittering agents and served over ice), a shot of the day often based on a classic cocktail, and a short cocktail menu that will change about every six weeks "depending on what that bartender is in the mood for."
Chef Alfredo Nogueira (Flipside Cafe, Rootstock) will be cooking "down to earth" food he grew up with in New Orleans; the menu (below) includes merliton, hog head cheese, and two types of po boys. Dinner service runs from 6 until 11 p.m.
Expect DJs to spin psychadelic, experimental and soul music Wednesdays through Sundays (closed Tuesdays) until 2 a.m. Staff will remove the seven tables to create a dancefloor at around 9 p.m. Also expect sporadic live music.
The space is small and sparse; Haynes and Prendergast say they were on a tight budget. The bar seats 14, eight lounge seats are in back, a couple hi-tops are up front in addition to the seven tables. "We had to be creative (with the space)," Prendergast says.
The results of their creative freedom will be on display beginning tonight.