Thursday, November 12, 2015

First Look at Archer Bar

After being one of the most popular vendors at both Project Eats and All About Downtown, Archer Bar is now getting ready to open up their new space to the public. They've been hosting a few friends and family nights and last Saturday they issued an invite on Instagram to the public for a test night.

I stopped in that Saturday and after checking in with the incredibly friendly guy looking at IDs, I walked in and immediately found myself impressed just by the entry hall where they've created a semi-hidden feel but also decorated with an eye towards the overall feel of the bar. The entire space has the feel of an intimate and very well-appointed hunting lodge with dark wood, built-in shelving, hunting decor (which fits well with their game based menu) and it's dark, but warm and welcoming. There's a lot more space than I had realized and they've utilized it well with a large bar right at entry with plenty of seating, standing and mingling space behind that and quite a few booths towards the front end of the space.

I only tried one of the drinks they had available that Saturday, the gin, but it was excellent (which is why I stuck with it). The focus is definitely on creating well-balanced and carefully crafted cocktails as ordered. Juices are fresh-squeezed, muddling is done properly, and attention is paid to the quality of the alcohol and of the supporting ingredients which are there to enhance, not hide. It does take a little longer to get your cocktail but the wait is worth it.

All signs point to this being a great option for excellent cocktails to savor and a menu different and slightly more experimental than most others around Jersey City. They seem to welcome variety and their initial cocktail menu on Saturday showcased gin, rye, tequila, rum, and bourbon, so finding your drink shouldn't be an issue. They also carry a small selection of craft beers on tap, all carefully chosen and a little more unique than what I typically see around Jersey City. Archer Bar straddles the line nicely between bar to seek out and friendly neighborhood hangout.

Archer Bar (176 Newark Avenue) is scheduled to open this Friday and while it still might take them a bit of time to get into the swing of things, especially with the opening week crowds, you can count on receiving quality drinks and great food.

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