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'Accessible Mixology' Is the Idea Behind New Village Bar Rogue & Canon

By Andrea Swalec | January 23, 2013 10:11am

GREENWICH VILLAGE — A recently opened bar and restaurant on West Houston Street doesn't have a sign yet, but "secret bar" it is not.

The co-owner of the new spot Rogue & Canon, which opened Monday at 128 W. Houston St. at Sullivan Street, said he wants to serve high-end cocktails to the masses from behind the 26-foot-long mahogany bar.

"A lot of the cocktail dens are difficult to get into, and you can be intimidated by the door guy or the need to have a table reservation," said industry veteran Johnny Swet, who is a co-owner of the Jimmy, the bar atop The James Hotel.

Instead, Swet, 48, said he and his partners — Larry Poston, another hospitality world fixture, and newcomer Yanni Marmarou — want to practice "accessible mixology" at the no-reservations eatery.

Cocktails in the warmly lit restaurant lined with brown leather banquettes run $13 each. Giving the eatery its name, which refers to the juxtaposition of classics and more unconventional fare, they include choices like a Sazerac with rye, absinthe, sugar, Peychaud's Bitters and a lemon twist, as well as inventive options such as the American Pie, which consists of Applejack, Bavarian apple liquor and cranberry juice over a cinnamon ice block.

Rogue & Canon also has eight beers on tap for $8 or $9 each, plus a wine list. 

The menu continues the spot's namesake theme, with options like the Canon Burger with cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion and dill pickle on a potato roll ($15) and bolder choices like the Thai-inspired Rogue Burger, which is slathered with peanut butter and topped with crispy pork belly, onion marmalade and aged cheddar ($16).

Hangover Lo Mein is another signature dish in the space formerly home to low-key dive bar XR Bar. Served in a take-out container, the entree consists of spicy lo mein noodles, carrots, cabbage and grilled scallions ($17).

Swet — who also recently opened the more "old-school" restaurant Cole's Greenwich Village on Greenwich Avenue at West 13th Street — said diners and drinkers can expect to see his empire of cocktail joints grow.

"I think the Upper East Side might be next," he said. "There are so few fun bars up there."

Rogue & Canon at 128 W. Houston St. opens daily at 5 p.m. and closes Sunday and Monday at 1 a.m., Tuesday and Wednesday at 2 a.m. and Thursday through Saturday at 3 a.m.