No. 7: Bar Rev
This Greenwood surprise gives the south side a reason to dress up.
While we sat nursing our cocktails on a laid-back Saturday night at Bar Rev, the speakeasy-style space that opened in the back of Greenwood restaurant Revery this spring, our server swung by to ask if we wanted to order food. “Because we’re about to get really busy,” he said. And he wasn’t kidding. We had no sooner tucked into our heirloom-tomato salads when the narrow, brick-walled drinking den became standing-room only. Waves of well-dressed older couples, high-heeled posses of girls, and buttoned-down IPA-sippers packed the 60-seat watering hole that the owners of Revery opened to accommodate their popular drinks program. “It exceeded all of our expectations,” says Mark Henrichs, one of two chefs behind the restaurant. “We see people coming from other sides of town. Carmel, even.”
That’s probably because Bar Rev is not only the far-south suburb’s first foray into the world of craft cocktails, but also the domain of bar manager Adam Hayden. A Libertine expat, Hayden has developed a cocktail list that balances all of the traditional tipples (Negroni, gimlet, Cuba Libre) with his own far-flung recipes. His basic Old Fashioned is dark and lovely, made with Bone Snapper rye perfumed with the citrusy mist of bitters and a curl of orange peel. The puckery Amelia is a white-rum interpretation of the classic Aviation, softened with creme de violette. The Forester for the Trees is a fiery chest-thumper with Old Forester bourbon, brandy, vermouth, and creme de cacao. Just for fun, a few $5 house shots combine some of those same complex flavors (like the Chili-Choke’s blend of smoky ancho-chile liqueur and the bitter artichoke essence of Cynar) in a potent toss-back form. 299 W. Main St., Greenwood, 317-215-4164