Too often, speakeasies are exposed by revelers lined down the block, bouncers guarding the door and guests loitering during cigarette breaks. Not this one. To find Mr. Cannon, you have to enter through an empty courtyard in the Seaport District and into a back alleyway. To the right is a 19th-century-style printing shop, and past that is a glowing doorbell on your left. A bouncer disguised as a loiterer (or maybe just a loitering bouncer) will ask if you’re here for the speakeasy, and in you go. The space is a funny mix of a soundstage (black walls, black floor, sparse seating) and a Victorian living room (velvet couches, bistro tables lined with beaded fringes, antique mirrors) with industrial Brooklyn elements (exposed pipes, edison bulbs)—made all the more discordant when you’re literally reading your menu by candlelight to Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow.” Thankfully, the attention paid to the exceptional drinks is laser- focused.
ORDER THIS: Head mixologist Chris Kearns (the Roxy Hotel) crafts throwback cocktails ($17) that taste supremely fresh. The Havana-style mojito (pricer than the rest at $23) is mixed right in front of you; the ingredients are wheeled out on a cart, and the bartender delineates the history of the tipple’s inception (inspired by a bar in Cuba that Ernest Hemingway frequented). While the mojito evokes summer nostalgia, the cognac-based Jose’s Revenge, an elixir of allspice dram, stone pine liqueur and raspberry tea espuma, is an ideal autumnal drink with a rich, spiced cinnamon taste. The namesake Cannon’s Smoke with rum, mescal, whiskey, banana puree, coconut cream and BBQ bitters could easily turn into a jarring concoction, but the perfectly controlled ingredients create a smooth smoky taste balanced with the fruity banana and milky coconut.
GOOD FOR: A third date. Work off your cocktail buzz with a walk around the waterfront neighborhood lined with historic Greek Revival brick buildings. The New World atmosphere is about as pitch-perfect a date night as you can get.
THE CLINCHER: Mr. Cannon is just one of many new venues in the recently rebranded “Seaport District.” The bar shares a building with the pop-up Seaport Food Lab, a restaurant that rotates chefs who each create a signature menu. And while you’re in the neighborhood, check out the upscale cinema iPic Theaters, the Fulton Market food hall and an upcoming Jean-Georges flagship restaurant. Looks like the secret’s out.
|Venue name:||Mr. Cannon|
206 Front St
|Cross street:||at Fulton St|
|Opening hours:||Daily 5pm–2am|
|Price:||Average cocktail: $17|
|Do you own this business?|