Why wait more than two seconds to show off your new haircut at a bar? Kristi Banister (above) decided to open a boozy extension to her hip, old-timey High Horse Salon called, naturally, the High Horse Saloon. The smart thing about opening a bar next to your salon? You’ve already got a customer base, as evidenced by the salon employees and clients who have already become regulars despite the fact that the bar has only been open for a week. The draw for people who aren’t getting their hair cut by Kristi is a quality, unpretentious drink program made up mostly of whiskey, craft beer, and wine on tap.
The 40-seat bar, located in the former Cinders Gallery space in Williamsburg, shares the same weathered, vintage look as the salon, decked out with antique upholstery, Edison bulbs, and wood paneling reclaimed from an old elevator shaft stained by (no joke) vulture vomit.
“I wanted it to look nice and mirror the salon,” said Banister, “but I also wanted it to be a place to get a cheap drink.”
Drink deals abound, including the beer-and-shot combo for $5. For more discerning beer drinkers, there are six taps dispensing craft brews from breweries like Sixpoint, Victory, and Left Hand. The two wines on tap come from the Gotham Wine Project, the all-keg wine company that supplies everyone from the John Dory Oyster Bar to Blue Ribbon. Of course, no saloon would be complete without whiskey; here, the shelves are stocked with more than 30 of them, including single-barrel bourbon from Rock Hill Farms, rye whiskey from Utah’s High West, and Wild Turkey Rare Breed.
The vibe is pretty casual, with day drinkers (doors open during the week at 2 p.m.) coming in after getting a cut and others coming later in when a DJ starts spinning just about any genre you could think of. Tattoos and a cool-looking haircut are the norm, so you might want to make an appointment next door before you stop by.
High Horse Saloon
103 Havemeyer Street, near Hope Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 26, 2011