On Tuesday night I (along with some other media and a few contest winners) had the chance to check out Canon, Jamie Boudreau’s new bar in the former Licorous space on 12th Avenue East. The place has been transformed to pleasing effect: there’s antique-looking wallpaper with a silvery shimmer and dark, manly blinds where once hung gauzy curtains. The wall behind the banquette has been painted a chocolatey hue, and Boudreau is planning to decorate it with framed newspaper clippings from the day Prohibition was repealed.
Some things you will see at Canon when it opens: an old-timey cash register where you might except a computer, an alembic still posing like a reclining nude atop a shelf behind the bar, and a gramophone. Also: Book-length cocktail menus stored in menu cozies under the tables, aged cocktails that may come presented in a glass flask or some lovely piece of glassware amassed over Boudreau’s five years of collecting, and lots and lots and lots of bottles of booze. In fact, Boudreau says he wants Canon customers “to feel ensconced in booze.”
People you will see at Canon: Boudreau, of course. And Nathan Weber—the one-time Tavern Law tender is leaving his post at Mistralkitchen to join Boudreau behind the bar (he’ll still work some shifts at Rob Roy). Boudreau told me last night that Weber was the very first bartender who expressed interest in Canon, back when the bar was still just an idea.
As previously reported, the chef is Melinda Bradley, a NYC transport who has toiled at lofty establishments owned by Marcus Samuelsson and Daniel Boulud. Last night she prepared some steamed buns stuffed with saucy pork belly, but Boudreau cautioned that this dish should not inspire us to make generalizations regarding the fare on hand. The menu will change at his whim. His nobody-puts-baby-in-a-corner philosophy applies to the entire place—Boudreau called Canon “a bar of change,” and said we should expect it to “evolve constantly.”
Things you may see at Canon down the road: A Fernet Branca tap (yup), cocktails on tap, and customers who have cartoon bubbles floating over their head to indicate the effects of alcohol consumption. (I should mention, not everyone has the special powers required to see that last thing. Also customers are not things, they are people.)
A date at which you can go check out Canon your own self: I don’t have one. But it will open soon, possibly even this weekend and definitely within the next couple of weeks.