There's a lot to say about new Lower East Side cocktail bar Sally Can Wait—starting with the story behind the name, which is an ode to co-owner Matt Friedlander's dog, Sally.
But the tongue-in-cheek references go further. Take the motto that is playfully displayed on the tropical wall that catches the eye as soon as you walk in: "Oy Empingao." It's a reference to the two cultures that influence the bar. "Oy," which comes from Yiddish, is a term that expresses shock and amazement. "Empingao," meanwhile, is Cuban slang for "so awesome." Sally Can Wait seeks to marry the culinary worlds of Latin and Jewish cuisines—a task that's rarely been attempted before.
The food offerings immediately call out to both fares. Take the grilled mahi mahi Reuben, for example, which is a Cuban version of the classic Jewish sandwich (pastrami spice, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, house Russian dressing). The classic Cubano is also worth splitting (roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, house pickles, yellow mustard) after an order of the oh-so-Jewish latkes, served with sour cream, pickled onion and Fuji apple compote.
The cocktails are outstanding as well—which doesn't surprise us considering that Friedlander used to be the general manager at Grand Banks, and co-owner Zak Snyder was the bar manager at Analogue. The two worked at a slew of other New York City nightlife staples as well.
Drinks on the menu include the Cafe Cubano (vodka, coffee liqueur, cinnamon, falernum cream, bustelo espuma), the Hashtag Holy F*CK (gin, strega, lime, cucumber, honey), the Ecto Cooler (mezcal, midori, honeydew lime syrup, kalamansi) and a frozen Miami Vice (half piña colada and half strawberry daiquiri).
Speaking of Miami Vice: the bar's decor is entirely inspired by the 1980s TV show—which means you'll basically feel like you've taken a vacation to Florida without ever leaving New York.
Check out some photos of the space and the menu items right here. You can find Sally Can Wait at 252 Broome Street: