1.20.2016

New Spa City craft cocktail bar to open next week

Craft Cocktail Bar in Saratoga Springs to open Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 24 Caroline Street

Saratoga Springs) -- When craft cocktail bar Hamlet & Ghost opens to the public on Tuesday, January 26 at 5 p.m., it will offer specialty cocktails such as the Spice Hound (Ancho Reyes chili liqueur with Tequila Ocho Anejo) and a Milk Punch (tea-infused Battenkill Valley Creamery milk, rum and nutmeg), adding new variety to the bar scene in Saratoga Springs. To celebrate the opening of its 24 Caroline Street location, on February 3 the bar will host a ribbon cutting at 4:15 p.m. followed by a grand opening party at 5:30 p.m.
Many of the cocktails at Hamlet & Ghost will feature fresh-pressed juices and homemade bitters and tinctures. The seasonal craft cocktail menu of approximately 9 to 14 specialty drinks will be complemented by a carefully chosen selection of beer, wine, and champagne. From the kitchen, Hamlet and Ghost will offer a New American menu of small plates, including dishes such as a Wagyu Beef Steak with hand-cut “steak frites” served with turmeric aioli and a Cognac-Soaked Pear Tartine.
“After many months of planning and extensive renovations to this historical building, we’re excited to share our interpretation of speakeasy hospitality with a contemporary flair,” notes owner and expert bartender Brendan Dillon. “Unlike most bars, every server here will be fully trained to tend bar, so they will have exceptional knowledge of how the drinks are made. They will offer personal attention to help our guests find just the right cocktail to suit their mood and palate, from sweet espresso mocktails to bolder, more potent cocktails, like a smoky Old Fashioned variation called “The Don Lockwood” made with peaty Laphroaig Scotch Whisky and Four Roses Bourbon.
Of particular note at this new establishment, with the one-night exception of the grand opening party on February 3, all guests in the bar will be seated so they can enjoy a relaxing experience. The bar’s host will manage a text/call wait list and the bar will only accommodate 50 guests at a time.
“On Wednesday, February 3, after a ribbon cutting and reception in the late afternoon, we will transition by 5:30 into a high-energy, standing-room grand opening celebration,” comments Dillon. “We’ll offer a special punch service to keep our service fast, and create a festive atmosphere with some merchandise giveaways and other surprises. Everyone’s invited.”
The bar’s interior features an eclectic blend of historic exposed brick, reclaimed wood from a local mushroom farm, a poured concrete bar flanked by white subway-style wall tile, and industrial-style seating and lighting. New, modern elements blend with old and rustic features. Bar guests will be seated in three different areas: a European-style banquette along the front windows, a classic bar counter in the middle, and an intimate area with small tables and a 16-foot curved banquette in the back.
Located in the heart of downtown Saratoga Springs at 24 Caroline Street by the corner of Putnam Street, Hamlet & Ghost’s building was once a flour, feed and grain shop in the 1870s. During Prohibition, a hardware store provided an alleged facade to a hidden gambling spot.
Before developing Hamlet & Ghost, owner Brendan Dillon, a native Saratogian, was a central figure behind the bar for five years at Max London’s Restaurant & Bar. A bartending course he took with “cocktail godfather” Gary Regan in 2006 set him in pursuit of craft cocktails. His previous hospitality experience includes Verde Restaurant at Stratton Mountain in Vermont as well as several other Saratoga establishments.
Dillon’s business partner, Dennis Kiingati, is a Saratoga import and entrepreneur.
Colin Murphy, Chef at Hamlet & Ghost, worked in New York City, San Francisco and Georgia, fine-tuning his craft.
Brady Dillon, Sous Chef at Hamlet and Ghost, cut his teeth in the kitchen at Siro’s in Saratoga Springs and then attended the Culinary Institute of America, before returning to the area as chef at The Merry Monk and Lake Local.
In addition, the bar’s owners have benefited from the experience of Chall Gray, best known for his Top of the Monk bar in Asheville, North Carolina, and Alex Straus, a Saratoga native and hospitality veteran of more than 17 years who has opened numerous bars on the West Coast, including EP/LP in Los Angeles and the internationally renowned Tao Beach in Las Vegas.
Hamlet & Ghost will be open Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. until midnight and Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. until 2 a.m. The bar will be closed on Sundays. Additional information and photos are available atwww.hamletandghost.com and on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Read the Saratogian's original story here.

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