The former East Side Company Bar has been transformed into an urban Tiki den by the cocktail craftsmen behind Dutch Kills. Officially opening Friday night, the snug little warren—dubbed Painkiller after a rum cocktail concocted in the British Virgin Islands—will serve new creations alongside high-end versions of all the Tiki standards, from the Zombie to the Mai Thai to the Suffering Bastard. Co-owner Richard Boccato tells us the latter item was originally popularized as a hangover cure at the Shepheard's Hotel in Cairo in 1942. Made with ginger beer, gin, bourbon and/or conjac, bitters, and garnished with cucumbers, mint, and an orange wedge, the cocktail was initially called the Suffering Bar Steward, which eventually elided into the Suffering Bastard.
Painkiller will also serve tiki flights and Scorpion Bowls, which communally intoxicate between 2-4 people sipping from a giant vessel with colorful straws. Those range in price from $50-75, depending on how big you want the bowl, while cocktails are between $10-$16. As for the design, Boccato insists Painkiller is "very much a New York City tiki bar. We're not trying to escape the island of Manhattan for island of Oahu." To that end, the walls are decked with plenty of graffiti along with bamboo, and trippy lights around the ceilings change colors every few seconds. Down the road, Boccato plans to open up the back room for live music and private parties.
Painkiller // 49 Essex Street // Open daily starting Friday, 5 p.m. to 4 a.m.