There just aren't enough places to score a good carrot smoothie with Ketel One in this town—and so, to fill a void you may not have known existed, here comes Cocktail Bodega, a colorful bodega-themed joint on Chrystie Street. The proprietor is Matt Levine (remember the Eldrige?) and Michael Shah, who both collaborated on Sons of Essex, the deli, restaurant, and townhall on Essex Street. Here's their new venture, which serves up liquor-blended smoothies & spiked freshly squeezed juices, along with a menu that they say "takes a creative and innovative approach on traditional street food."
The menu from Chef Roble (of Bravo fame) features such items as the Cuban Sandwich Quesadilla: a 3 tier quesadilla stuffed with ham, Swiss cheese, Gus's pickles and aichote aioli. There's also a Jerk Chicken Satays, consisting of grilled pieces of jerk chicken served on a wooden skewer with pineapple salsa. Also interesting: the Kimchee Reuben, made with corned beef, gruyere cheese, kimchee and a pickled aioli pressed between two slices of rye bread.
The fresh juice cocktails, which clock in at $10, include The Ironman Whiskey (Jim Beam, apple juice, beet juice, carrot juice, and celery juice), and The Gin Hulk (Hendrick's gin, apple juice, cucumber juice, lemon juice, and spinach juice). Meanwhile, the alcoholic smoothies cost $11 and include a Carrot Top Smoothie (Ketel One Oranje, agave nectar, carrot juice, orange juice, and mult-vitamin) and the Jameson Brown Sugar Banana Smoothie (Jameson, banana, brown sugar, lemon juice, orange juice, and Vitamin C.) There is also a variety of beer and wine, starting at $6.
Cocktail Bodega, which officially opens Thursday, will operate from 11 a.m. to 4 a.m. But downstairs, a lounge called CBU (Cocktail Bodega Underground) will rock a nightclub vibe from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. As you can see here, CBU's aesthetic resembles a walk-in-freezer (to compliment the upstairs Cocktail Bodega) styled like a subway train, with seats and poles purchased from the MTA. According to Levine, it boasts a state of the art sound system, and the walls feature graffiti by Lower East Side graffiti artist Doug Aldrich.
Cocktail Bodega // 205 Chrystie Street; CBU // 19 Stanton Street