The name of the new bar Yours Sincerely (41 Wilson Avenue, Brooklyn; no phone) may read like the conclusion to a night at Dear Bushwick, the bohemian English dining room next door that co-owners Julian Mohammed and Darren Grenia opened in 2012, but the anonymous storefront – all this time an Airbnb rental hidden in plain sight – has been transformed into a hall in the wall, a narrow passage spouting twenty taps of quick, cheap, and potent sips to start any evening. There are tables where waiting diners can score a perfectly balanced pina colada or negroni faster than a hostess can slip between doors to call their names, and stools that a post-work crowd can snag to shoot a petite beaker of cinnamon-infused mescal and amaro that best resembles a south-of-the-border take on rye, and takes just as long to pour.
“I think people are over the wait for a good cocktail,” says Mohammed. “But we’re industry. We don’t mind waiting, but it’s a long wait and and at some point people are going to be over that. Especially if this happens more often when you’re getting good cocktails at a good speed.” What that means at Yours Sincerely is happy hour prices – shots are $4, cocktails are $8 – paired with dive bar expediency all night long.
Downstairs, Grenia labors to ease the workload of his bartenders, and the wait time of drinkers, by formulating a daily menu of classics, and a few original libations like Transmit The Box, a bittersweet chocolate mescal concoction served on a sphere of ice. After all his prep work, such drinks require no more than an aromatic spritz to finish.
The basement laboratory is no bigger than a closet, and the efficiency of Grenia’s program speaks to the future of the owners’ ambitions. “We have partners looking at spots where we can replicate the program, not the look of the space,” says Mohammed. They’ve also begun talking to Allen Katz of New York Distilling about the notion of bottling cocktails for retail sale. “We’d also like to sell cocktails to hotels; it would be amazing to have a warehouse to store them, then we can install them in their bars. You see draft cocktails popping up all over, and bars are headed that way,” says Grenia. “This is the beginning, our testing ground.”
Yours Sincerely wasn’t always going to be a draft cocktail bar, however. Their original idea was to serve only barrel-aged cocktails, until a research trip overseas to the Shoreditch neighborhood of east London convinced them otherwise. They had planned to scout new menu ideas for Dear Bushwick while they were there, when bartenders at basement speakeasy Happiness Forgets put Ryan Chetiyawardana on their radar. “I’ll be forever indebted to them because they pointed us to White Lyan,” says Grenia.
While Chetiyawardana is best known for Dandelyan, his riverfront bar at the Mondrian London on the Thames’ south bank, (which won him both Best International Bartender and Best New International Cocktail Bar at last summer’s Tales of the Cocktail,) he’s also the proprietor of White Lyan in east London, which offers dozens of pre-mixed cocktails and shots at a fraction of the hotel bar’s prices.
“Ryan blew our minds. Darren was picking his brain while we were developing our concept, and he even came to the restaurant,” recalls Mohammed. “He’s a genius and we were never going to get as in depth as he does, but it’s how we made the leap from barrels to batches to taps.”
There are ambitious creations on Yours Sincerely’s menu, spiritous pours that spark and challenge the palate like the Chaos Theory, a shot of chicory-infused bourbon and Jamaican-jerk-infused rum that goes down smooth thanks to a touch of molasses, and a Folsom Fizz, a take on whiskey and cherry Coke minus the cherry, which is simulated by an almond infusion.
And coming sooner rather than later there will be food and bar snacks carried over from the kitchen next door. “We’re just doing small snacks, pork crackling, pickled fish – you’ll know it comes from Dear Bushwick when you taste it,” Mohammed says.