Grand opening mid-December
Saratoga Springs -- When it opens in December 2015, Hamlet & Ghost will add a new dimension to the Saratoga Springs hospitality experience, providing high-quality, custom-crafted drinks and pleasing small plates in a welcoming, industrial-chic, historic building. In contrast to the local norm, Hamlet & Ghost will accommodate only as many guests as it can seat.
Located at 24 Caroline Street by the corner of Putnam Street, the new establishment was once a feed and grain store in the 1870s. It became a hardware store during Prohibition— an alleged facade to a hidden gambling spot within.
The newest plan for this storied venue is the collaborative brainchild of three hospitality veterans:
- Brendan Dillon: Hamlet & Ghost owner, Saratogian, and bartender at Max London’s Restaurant & Bar for the past five years, whose other hospitality experience includes Verde Restaurant at Stratton Mountain in Vermont as well as several other Saratoga establishments
- Chall Gray: operator of six acclaimed tap rooms and craft cocktail bars, most notably the Top of the Monk in Asheville, North Carolina
- Alex Straus: a Saratoga native and hospitality veteran of more than 17 years—and student of the recently deceased cocktail godfather Sasha Petraske—who has opened numerous bars on the West Coast, including the internationally renowned Tao Beach in Las Vegas, and most recently EP/LP in Los Angeles
As the partners are diverse, so is the targeted clientele. “We wanted to create a space where everyone can enjoy a well-crafted cocktail in a relaxed atmosphere, without feeling crowded out or out of place,” explains Dillon. In this old-meets-new venue, roughly 50 people at a time will be hosted in three different seating areas: a European-style banquette along the front windows, a classic bar counter in the middle, and an intimate area with small tables and banquette in the back.
Capacity will be managed with care by way of limited reservations combined with a text/call availability list based on a first-come-first-seated policy. “We don’t want anyone to be forced to stand or feel congested. We want the authenticity of the promised experience to be maintained, and everyone to feel comfortable—whether by themselves or with others. In terms of my approach at the bar, our best cocktail will be not simply the one I love to make, but rather the one each patron loves the most,” notes Dillon.
Hamlet & Ghost plans to be open Monday through Saturday from the late afternoon until midnight during the week, with a 2 a.m. closing time on the weekend. News of the bar’s preparations and construction photos of its striking décor—large windows facing both Caroline and Putnam Streets, paired with the curved, angular bar, and accented by the wooden floors and tin ceilings—are being released on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. The website www.hamletandghost.com will be launched shortly; plans and the date for the grand opening will be announced.