The century-old House of Shields watering hole reopened to a packed house last night at 4 p.m. And chef-owner Dennis Leary now has the mini-empire of Canteen, The Sentinel, Golden West and the beaut you see here to call his own. Leary has overseen the intense buffing of this historic artifact since June, spending months restoring the vintage light fixtures and stripping the smoke from the walls. Not one to fall into the momentum of any trend, he's passed over all things "mixology" at the bar. Manager Eric Passetti ensures spirits offered are high caliber. Even the well is worth sipping and there's no cocktail list with cheeky names to speak of. Nor will one find any TVs, clocks, or food (yet) to distract from the drink at hand. According to Signore Lucchesi, a late-night menu of throwback bites may be one the way in the coming months. As with all of Leary's artfully restrained operations, we'll take what we can get.
[Photo: Jennifer Yin]