Sleepy wine country nightlife will get a boost with the addition of Duke's, a cocktail bar from a trio of Spoonbar alums. The bar will open in downtown Healdsburg on June 23, offering craft cocktails with a culinary leanings from Laura Sanfilippo, Tara Heffernon, and Steve Maduro
This is the first solo venture for the three, who spent time together behind the bar at nearby Spoonbar, which has been a cocktail destination since it opened in 2010. Now they're striking out on their own, with a menu full of drinks made with garden ingredients. Heffernon, a botanist, will contribute herbs and flowers grown from her garden, while Sanfilippo will provide fresh fruits and vegetables grown in her orchard and vineyard.
The menu is divided into sections to reflect each ingredient theme, including "Homegrown & Heirloom," and "Perennials." A entire section is devoted to cocktails on tap, described as "Crushable and carbonated," with drinks like the "Industry Shandy," made with Magnolia Kolsch, rye, amaro, bittersweet vermouth and lemon. A focus on vermouth is also an influencer, part of a growing Bay Area trend using aperitifs as a main focus.
Naturally there will be a hearty by-the-glass wine program, full of local wines, but with an eye towards more obscure varietals like vermentino. And because even locals get tired of wine sometimes, there'll be six beers and two ciders on tap, mostly local. It's only small bites here, with options like popcorn, pickled veggies and chips and salsa (all $5), so if you're going hard on cocktails it might be a good idea to grab a bite before getting down to business.
The building itself has an interesting history, having continuously operated since the end of Prohibition in 1933; for that reason there's a dash of speakeasy style, including newspaper clippings and old photographs.
Added bonus: Duke's will be open later than most Healdsburg bars, which will please industry folks and locals alike. Hours will be Monday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to midnight; Friday and Saturday 2 p.m. to 2 a.m.; and Sunday 2 p.m. to midnight