“This is the best Manhattan I’ve ever had in my life! That’s frickin’ delicious.” Doar Bros., the newest cocktail bar in town, opened their doors for service on Monday — and had patrons exclaiming for all the world, or at least all the bar, to hear.
The wee space at 225 Meeting St., formerly wine bar O’Hara and Flynn, is midnight black and gold, mid-century modern glassware, and Millennial potted plants. GM Peyre Lumpkin greets patrons as they enter, drawing the door closed as the velvet drapes work to block out the bright lights and the confused chatter of tourists tumbling toward Market Street.
Experienced barkeep Megan Deschaine beams from behind the bar, shaking up ‘modern’ and ‘classic’ cocktails ranging from the straightforward (rum punch) to exotic (orange foam-topped bourbon).
Deschaine says before signing on to the Doar Bros. project, she was “flirting with the idea of changing things up.” The veteran of bars at Macintosh and 492 who is also vice president of the local U.S. Bartenders Guild, says she’s had the privilege of enjoying creative liberties in her previous gigs and is excited to continue building on her ‘what will we think of next’ cocktail repertoire.
Deschaine is not alone in her passion. Owner Jonathan Doar has worked in F&B for years, from Peninsula Grill to Triumph Bar in Seattle. His brother, an investor planted in San Diego, lends the ‘s’ to the bar’s name.
At Doar Bros., Jonathan’s small plates menu ranges from assorted cheeses to autumn vegetables and is reflective of his days out west. In 2014, Eater writes that at Triumph, Doar “built a small-plates menu of cheeses and salumi that complements the wine selection, sure, but he’s also serving an array of dishes that can stand on their own, from housemade charcuterie to seasonal vegetable plates.”
We tried the Carolina apples and burrata, a sweet, savory, and creamy delight, erring very much on the small side — but that’s OK, this isn’t the place you go to fill up.
“There’s nothing like this in this area,” says Lumpkin, explaining that they’ve been working with FIG so they can send diners to the bar for before or after dinner drinks. Lumpkin (who is also Doar’s cousin, BTW) says that in addition to hosting fine diners, they want to be accessible for the post-work F&B crowd, offering industry specials like $3 shots of Irish whiskey.
On our visit, we tried four cocktails: two from the modern side and two from the classic side. (Note: If you lack an identical twin with similar drinking proclivities, seek out a comparable companion to get the full experience.) With the first sips, Doar’s Gibson martini and barrel aged Boulevardier take you to a simpler time. Boozy to the brim, this is what you throw back when you want to feel it tout suite.
On the modern side, the French Huguenot is a nod to the Doar family (JD says the Doars have Huguenot roots) and a tribute to truffles. Made with Botanist gin, Burgundy truffles, Dolin dry vermouth, and lemon, this savory and smooth concoction is almost a meal unto itself.
But the highlight of our happy hour was the Bourbon and Clyde. Better than any iteration of creamy Irish coffee (save your hot beans for breakfast, thank you), this rich cocktail is made with Woodford, green chartreuse, fernet, vanilla bean, orange foam (!), and pistachio. We didn’t try that Manhattan, but the woman two seats down from us at the community table pulled Lumpkin aside to let him know that it was, in fact, the best one she’d ever had.
Doar Bros. is open daily (“we got the Sunday liquor license and we’re using it!”) starting at 4 p.m. Mon.-Fri. and 2 p.m. Sat. and Sun.