The change in seasons brings with it a fresh crop of notable bar openings nationwide, whether it’s beloved favorites transplanted to new cities or exciting concepts by ambitious newcomers. Not surprisingly, natural wine continues to bombard the scene—from Bar Brava, Minneapolis’ first dedicated natural wine bar, to Law Bird, where owners Annie Williams Pierce and Luke Pierce shine a light on minimal intervention wines alongside unconventional cocktails in Columbus, Ohio. Gage & Tollner, a historic Downtown Brooklyn steakhouse from the late 19th century, is being revived for modern diners and drinkers, while a Beaux Arts landmark building in Downtown Atlanta gets a second life as a boutique hotel, restaurant and bar. Meanwhile, industry veterans are plotting their next projects in new cities, like Ryan Chetiyawardana’s stateside debut in Washington D.C., Death & Co.’s Los Angeles outpost and Mother’s Ruin’s forthcoming Chicago location. Here are our picks for the most anticipated bar openings this season.
What: A hotel restaurant with French-inflected cuisine and drinks in a reopened historic building.
Who: Hugh Acheson, Steven Grubbs, Kellie Thorn
Where: Downtown Atlanta
Why it’s important: The Candler Hotel, situated in a restored landmark building by architects George Stewart and George E. Murphy, will serve chef Hugh Acheson’s French-Canadian cooking. Sommelier Steven Grubbs will feature a list of primarily European wines, while Kellie Thorn, bar manager of Acheson’s other Atlanta restaurants, will oversee the bar program.
What: A Chicago outpost of New York’s rowdy Nolita cocktail bar from two industry veterans.
Who: Toby Maloney (The Violet Hour), TJ Lynch (Mother’s Ruin, Loverboy), Richard Knapp (Mother’s Ruin)
Why it’s important: Toby Maloney, of The Violet Hour, and the duo behind New York’s Mother’s Ruin, TJ Lynch and Richard Knapp, are teaming up to open the second location of the popular late-night cocktail bar, though details remain scant.
Starbucks Reserve Roastery
What: The world’s largest Starbucks to date—43,000 square feet of experimental coffee roasting, elevated dining and cocktails.
Who: Annie Beebe-Tron (Fat Rice), Rachel Miller (Community Tavern), Julia Momose (Oriole and Kumiko).
Where: Magnificent Mile
When: November 15
Why it’s important: The four-story, 200-employee operation is part of Starbucks’ vision of broadening their approach beyond free Wi-Fi and Pike Place Roast. While the company has been quiet about specifics ahead of the opening, early press reports have revealed that Starbucks will be leaning into its cocktail program significantly, and the early lineup represents some of the city’s top talent.
What: A wine and cocktail bar focusing on unconventional ingredients.
Who: Annie Williams Pierce and Luke Pierce
Where: Brewery District
Why it’s important: The forthcoming bar from wife-and-husband duo Annie Williams Pierce and Luke Pierce will feature a selection of natural wines alongside an array of cocktails crafted by Williams Pierce, a former Curio bartender.
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Max’s South Seas Hideaway
What: A three-story tiki oasis located in a historic downtown building, decorated with owner Mark Sellers’ personal collection of midcentury artifacts.
Who: Martin Cate (Smuggler’s Cove), Mark Sellers (TikiCat), Gecko (a renowned tiki artist)
When: October 19
Why it’s important: The first tiki bar of this scale to open in the 21st century, Max’s South Seas Hideaway represents the combined efforts of several of the tiki world’s most distinguished figures.
The Toasted Coconut
What: A tiki bar and restaurant inspired by tropical cuisines north of the 20th parallel.
Who: Martin Stayer, Sara Stayer, Ben Ruiz, Sarah Troxell
When: September 5
Why it’s important: The team from Nobie’s opens a second concept, focusing on Caribbean and Southeast Asian cuisine. Bar director Sarah Troxell draws inspiration from tiki classics, while also looking beyond the tropical canon to include low-ABV options and less-conventional spirits.
Death & Co.
What: A third outpost of the famous New York City cocktail bar, which also opened a location in Denver last year.
Who: Alex Day, David Kaplan, Ravi DeRossi, Devon Tarby
Where: Arts District
Why it’s important: One of the most decorated cocktail bars in the world, Death & Co. is also a New York institution that’s never not been busy or buzzy, but Day and Kaplan of Proprietors LLC have never rested on their laurels. With two award-winning books, five bars and a lab dedicated to drinks R&D, the pair is continually circling back to the bar that started it all.
Sibling Rival and Pilot
What: The popular Williamsburg restaurant and bar Sunday In Brooklyn expands to the West Coast at L.A’s new buzzy Hoxton hotel under a new name.
Who: Brian Evans (director of bars, Sunday Hospitality)
When: Early October
Why it’s important: Everyone is moving from New York to Los Angeles these days—including popular bar and restaurant concepts. At the 174-room Hoxton in DTLA, Sunday In Brooklyn’s popular Havana Honeybear (Amaro Montenegro, amontillado sherry, pineapple, citrus, honey—drunk from a plastic honey bear, natch) will be served in the lobby bar and restaurant (called Sibling Rival). A rooftop pool bar (Pilot) will serve large-format punches and frozen tequila drinks.
Gate: Bar Centro
What: A bar-within-a-bar located in José Andrés’s The Bazaar.
Who: José Andrés
Where: Beverly Hills
When: September 13
Why it’s important: After a string of closures of tasting menu-only concepts, José Andrés has introduced his ambitious 12-cocktail tasting menu, which will rotate every few months.
Swizzle Rum Bar & Drinkery
What: A rum-forward bar concept from the Employees Only Miami team located in the Stiles Hotel.
Who: Danilo “Dacha” Bozovic (Employee’s Only New York) and others
Where: Miami Beach
When: September 16
Why it’s important: The folks behind the short-lived EO Miami are back on the scene with this tropical-minded locale featuring both classic and original cocktails.
What: A natural wine bar with tapas.
Who: Dan Rice, Jill Mott, Gretchen Skedsvold, Nick Anderson
Where: Near North
Why it’s important: From a team that includes a natural wine importer (Mott), an indie bottle shop owner (Skedsvold), natural wine enthusiast (Rice) and the former sous chef of San Francisco’s ABV (Anderson), Bar Brava will be the city’s first space dedicated solely to wines made with minimal intervention. Anderson’s food will be Mediterranean-inflected, with plenty of California influence.
The Grand Delancey
What: A massive beer hall within the new Market Line food hall, featuring 1,200 beers and 50 tap lines.
Who: Greg Engert (beer director, Neighborhood Restaurant Group)
Where: Lower East Side
Why it’s important: It’s the big, brassy, NYC debut for Washington D.C.’s Neighborhood Restaurant Group (Church Key, Blue Jacket). Beer nerds will get excited about hard-to-spot brews (Vermont’s Hill Farmstead) and styles (Franconian Kellerbier). Even casual fans will enjoy having a hard time figuring out what to drink.
Gage & Tollner and Sunken Harbor Club
What: The revival of a historic Brooklyn steakhouse that has been shuttered since 2004.
Who: St. John Frizell (Fort Defiance), Sohui Kim and Ben Schneider (both of The Good Fork and Insa)
Where: Downtown Brooklyn
Why it’s important: St. John Frizell, along with Ben Schneider and chef Sohui Kim, looks to breathe new life into a Brooklyn icon that first opened in 1879. Tucked within the new concept will be the first brick-and-mortar location for Sunken Harbor Club, the weekly tiki pop-up from the Fort Defiance team.
What: A wine bar from the Ruffian team, focusing on Slovenia, Croatia and Italy.
Who: Alexis Percival, Patrick Cournot, Charlotte Mirzoeff, Josh Ochoa, Amy Mattulina
Where: East Village
Why it’s important: The follow-up to the Ruffian, a daring, inventive wine bar that fixed its sights on Middle Europe (think Georgia, Croatia, Hungary). This time, the group turns its sights just slightly west, to the Adriatic, with a food menu and Italian-inspired cocktails (from Marta alum Charlotte Mirzoeff) to match.
What: An all-day cafe (Daymoves) and bar from the Four Horsemen team.
Who: James Murphy, Justin Chearno, Randy Moon, Nick Curtola, Amanda Spina, Orlando Franklin McCray
Why it’s important: The team behind the beloved natural wine bar The Four Horsemen is expanding next door. At night, the space will serve cocktails from Orlando Franklin McCray (formerly of Blind Barber and Maison Premiere), a short list of natural wines and a small menu from chef Nick Curtola. During the day, the space will operate as a café, called Daymoves.
Dante West Village
What: Dante’s second location, with a new concept inspired by Spain.
Who: Linden Pride, Nathalie Hudson, Naren Young, Angel Fernandez
Where: West Village
Why it’s important: Rather than duplicating the original’s Italian roots, Dante’s West Village location will feature influences from Spain’s Basque region. The bar program will focus on Martinis (including thrown versions) and aperitivi by way of Spain, and showcase Mediterranean ingredients.
Amor y Amargo
What: The second location of the beloved East Village bitters bar opens in Brooklyn.
Who: Sother Teague, Ravi DeRossi
Why it’s important: While the team will take the same stirred-only, citrus-free approach to cocktails, the menu is brand new and bigger—as is the space, which will give Teague a chance to showcase his bitters-loving point of view to a much larger audience.
What: A New York outpost of San Francisco’s women-funded (Ruth Reichl, former editor-in-chief of Gourmet; Kerry Diamond, editor-in-chief of Cherry Bombe) Champagne bar.
Who: Jen Pelka
Where: West Village
Why it’s important: Pelka has assembled another all-female team of investors to bring her hit Champagne bar to New York, featuring a list of more than 100 Champagnes and other bubbly wines.
Evil Twin Brewing Taproom
What: A long-awaited taproom for the beloved New York brewery.
Who: Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergso
Where: Ridgewood, Queens
Why it’s important: What started as a nomadic operation in 2010 finally put down roots this past summer when it opened a brewery in Queens. Now, the Evil Twin team is working to open a taproom, although setbacks have pushed the opening from summer to fall.
What: A restaurant focused on Peruvian-Japanese Nikkei cuisine, with a drinks program that draws inspiration from both places.
Who: Lynnette Marrero, Natasha Bermudez
Where: West Village
Why it’s important: By marrying ingredients like cacao-infused Japanese whisky with palo santo, and sake with sudachi and pisco, Marrero and Bermudez have created a menu that reads entirely original—a challenging feat in a city full of cocktail innovation.
TBD Rooftop Bar at 70 Pine
What: A rooftop bar concept from the team behind Crown Shy.
Who: James Kent, Jeff Katz
Where: 70 Pine Street, Financial District
Why it’s important: Having opened Crown Shy in the historic art deco building at 70 Pine Street earlier this year, the NoMad and Del Posto alums will expand throughout the building with four other concepts planned, including an intimate rooftop bar and lounge with an ambitious cocktail program helmed by Jonathan Lind (formerly of The Nomad).
What: An American tavern concept housed in the historic Irish Pub building, which closed in July.
Who: Tod Wentz (Oloroso, A Mano)
Where: Midtown Village
Why it’s important: Tod Wentz’s empire expands with this newest property, which will offer a large selection of beer as well as a raw bar menu.
What: The fourth location of the popular New York-based bar, which will occupy a 4,000 square-foot space in the historic Hale Building.
Who: Jeff Laub, Josh Boyd, Adam Kirsch
Where: Midtown Village
Why it’s important: Now onto its fourth location nationwide, Blind Barber shows no signs of slowing down, and neither does the chain-ification of popular cocktail bars (see Death & Co., Broken Shaker, etc.)
Triple Bottom Brewing
What: A brewery with a philanthropic mission.
Who: Tess Hart, Bill Popwell, Kyle Carney (Weyerbacher, Stone Brewing)
Where: Spring Arts
Why it’s important: Not only does Triple Bottom Brewing offset their energy usage entirely, the operating team has also partnered with organizations to recruit applicants who might otherwise face challenges in finding employment due to issues like past convictions or homelessness. In addition to their own beers brewed by Kyle Carney, formerly of Stone Brewing, Triple Bottom will serve a selection of wines and ciders from local producers.
Friends and Family
What: An intimate neighborhood bar from three San Francisco industry veterans.
Who: Blake Sondel Cole, Kimberly Rosselle, Christa Chase
Where: Uptown Oakland
Why it’s important: A powerhouse team that includes owner Blake Sondel Cole (formerly manager of Hopscotch, The Kon-Tiki, Tosca and others), bartender and Oakland native Kimberly Rosselle (formerly of Trick Dog, Nopalito, Flora Bar and Restaurant and Fauna Bar) and chef Christa Chase (former executive chef of Tartine Manufactory, with stints at Pizzaiolo and Caneles) will focus their efforts on treating everyone like an industry insider at this industrial, unpretentious neighborhood joint.
Fair Isle Brewing
What: A farmhouse-focused brewery and taproom.
Who: Andrew Pogue, Geoffrey Barker
Why it’s important: The beer brewed at Fair Isle Brewing will call on plenty of locally foraged ingredients and is backed by Jester King’s Jeffrey Stuffings.
What: A natural wine bar and shop from the owners of Vif.
Who: Lauren Feldman, Shawn Mead
Where: Beacon Hill
Why it’s important: The natural wine craze only continues to evolve with this latest concept that will showcase many similarities to the team’s existing café-slash-wine-bar, Vif.
What: A New Orleans–inspired dining experience, with beverage directors drawn straight from the Big Easy.
Who: Long Shot Hospitality and Cure Co.
Where: Midtown Center
Why it’s important: From the teams behind D.C.’s The Salt Line and New Orleans’ cocktail bars Cane & Table and Cure, Dauphine’s will have a raw bar, a boucherie station, a sunken dining room, an outdoor space and a mezzanine dining level, all taking their cues from the Big Easy’s storied, historic restaurants. Cure owner Neal Bodenheimer will curate a menu of classic New Orleans drinks, frozen Hurricanes potentially included.
What: The group behind some of the U.K.’s most acclaimed bars brings their wares to America’s capital.
Who: Ryan Chetiyawardana, Iain Griffiths
Where: Riggs Washington D.C. hotel
When: January, 2020
Why it’s important: Chetiyawardana and Co. debuted their brand of lab-built, inventive drinks at a New York pop-up this summer. But this will be their first true bar in the U.S., and there is no way that the team will not be debuting a new set of ideas.
Other Notable Openings:
Thunderbolt (Los Angeles): The latest entry into LA’s booming Filipinotown bar scene will focus on cocktails with a short food menu inspired by Southern cuisine.
Warriors Chase Center (San Francisco): The team behind Trick Dog and Bon Voyage is bringing a quality cocktail program to the Golden State Warriors’ new arena.
Champagne Diner (Seattle): A new concept from the folks behind Damn the Weather, focused on classic diner fare with original cocktails and, of course, Champagne.
J & Tony’s Discount Cured Meats and Negroni Warehouse (San Diego): Open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., this stylized Italian café is the latest venture from CH Projects, which also operates Raised by Wolves, Polite Provisions and more.