Audrey Saunders on the Tar Pit: cocktail flights, housemade sodas, Sunday brunch (served all day because Saturday nights can be long)


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Now that New York bartender extraordinaire Audrey Saunders of Pegu Club has teamed with Mark Peel and Jay Perrin of Campanile to open the Tar Pit, what’s in store? Cocktail flights, food-and-drink pairings, Sunday brunch, housemade sodas and more.

And if you thought the name Tar Pit made it sound, well, dumpy, there’s a reason (besides the reference to the La Brea Tar Pits).


‘We drew inspiration from the old black-and- white movie ‘My Man Godfrey,’’ said Saunders. ‘William Powell is homeless and living on the city dump. He goes to work for Carole Lombard’s crazy family as the butler, rebuilds his fortune, then returns to the city dump to open the Dump -- a nightclub. When someone enters the Tar Pit for the first time, they’ll be able to connect the irony in what the name represents, as opposed to the actual feel of the space.’ This place is no pit.

‘The beverage program is neoclassical and tips its hat to the 1940s Hollywood bar scene,’ she said. ‘It will encompass everything from old classics to new creations. We will also be developing an in-house carbonation program for housemade sodas.’
Cocktail flights also will be offered, in which you pick any three drinks from the cocktail menu and create your own flight (each is half the volume of a standard drink).

And get this:

There will be gueridon service, initially for the food and eventually for the beverages too -- cocktails served from trolleys.

At Sunday brunch, the plan is to have live bands that play ‘everything from reggae to Dixieland.’ Drinks (the stiff kind) will be served. ‘Brunch will served all day to give our industry friends an opportunity to start their day late, after having worked late the night before,’ Saunders said. (Those of us who aren’t in the industry who occasionally suffer a Sunday-morning hangover might appreciate it too.)

L.A. mixologist Marcos Tello confirmed that he will be head bartender. The Tar Pit is scheduled to open next month.

-- Betty Hallock