FINANCIAL DISTRICT — You can taste the difference between old and new money at this Financial District bar.
Cedar Local, a dimly lit cocktail lounge that recently opened near Wall Street, offers two menus with eight drinks apiece: one designated "Old Money," featuring version of classic cocktails, and the other called “New Money,” offering the bar's own concoctions.
“Bar culture down here is very pub-driven, but we wanted to change up the vibe with something different,” said Telly Liberatos, 31, who co-owns the bar with his family. “We want to be a more modern, after-work cocktail spot — we thought the money concept for the drinks was a fun concept.”
A New Money offering that had become popular in the week the bar has been open is the Whiskey Rebellion, made from Pimm’s No. 1, High West Rendezvous Rye and lemon juice, served on the rocks. Refreshing Summer Garden — sparkling wine, Greenalls Gin, cucumber, lemon and honey — has also been a hit, Liberatos said.
Drinks on the Old Money menu include Everybody Loves a Negroni and It’s a Dark and Stormy.
The bar also serves a menu of “bites,” including meat empanadas with almond chipotle aioli for $13 and risotto balls with mushrooms, Roquefort cheese and truffle oil. Larger plates include the 21-spice New York strip steak, for $25.
Liberatos and his family, who are originally from Greece, also own the neighboring Pita Press, a Greek takeout spot next to Cedar Local, and Koyzina Kafé, a lunch and breakfast spot that sits across the street.
Cedar Local takes the place of the Liberatos family's former Greek restaurant, Koyzina Grill, which closed a couple of years ago.
"We took a bit of time to decide what we wanted to do with the space," said Liberatos, who grew up in Bayside, Queens, and now lives in the Financial District. "We really want this to be a neighborhood place, with a comfortable, upscale atmosphere."
The bar opens at 4 p.m. daily and is staying open until 1 a.m. on weekdays and 2 a.m. on weekends, but may stay open until the 4 a.m. closing time allowed on its liquor license, Liberatos said.
"This is a quiet block, so I think we'll see how long it makes sense for us to stay open," he said. "I think the neighborhood customers will help us figure that out."