Previously open as an extended space to hang or to privately rent, ABV’s upstairs portion will now function as a bar within the bar. Called Over Proof, it will be a quarterly-changing, reservation-only tasting menu cocktail bar with food that focuses on a different spirit each time.
Over Proof will operate independently of ABV, though the same team (owners Todd Smith, Ryan Fitzgerald, and Erik Reichborn-Kjennerud and chef Collin Hilton) is running both projects. Each concept will run about three months, and the food, drinks, and decor will change completely each time. It’s an all-inclusive $80 menu (food, drink, tax, and gratuity) for at least five cocktails and corresponding food, with two nightly 90-minute seatings Monday through Thursday at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. to start. Similar to Lazy Bear, each dish and drink will be accompanied by a spiel on the history, inspiration, and ingredients included.
First up, starting Monday, January 23 and running through April 20, is Flip Flop, a rum bar dedicated to all things associated with the spirit and where it is produced, both food and drink. Cocktails include the Pink Flamingo (rhum agricole, lime, pineapple gum, absinthe), the Presidente (rum, blanc vermouth, curacao, bubbles), and the Tiki-Tivo (a secret mix of housemade aperitivos). Food, which is not necessarily meant to be paired with the drinks, but will complement the theme, include Trinidad’s national dish of Trini chow mein with sweet peppers, braised cabbage, and green onion; smoked lamb curry with puffed rice, coconut milk, and yogurt on a fried plantain; and clam “stuffies,” a New England-style clam stuffing baked in a clamshell with andouille sausage. You can see a working version of the opening menu (subject to changes) in full below.
The space, which has a five-seat bar and five communal tables with another 20 seats, will change completely each time, and Flip Flop will start things off with a beachy tiki vibe, complete with vintage rum posters, bamboo, tropical glassware, and beach scene “views.” The guys even considered covering the floor in sand, before realizing the ramifications of such a decision. When the concept then switches to whiskey, as is planned for May 1 through July 20, the drinks, food, and decor will follow accordingly with darker, moody vibes after a one-week break for the turnover. The final two concepts will be announced later this year.
Then, after its fourth concept, Over Proof will be a thing of the past, and the ABV team will turn the space into something completely new. Reservations for the first iteration go live on January 1, and can be made through Resy then.