The tagline for August Laura, a new cocktail bar opening tonight in Carroll Gardens, could be la famiglia. There's the name, a tip of the hat to co-owner Alyssa Sartor's grandfather; the glassware, much of which comes from Sartor's father's bar in New Jersey; and the story of Sartor and business partner Frankie Rodriguez, who's soon to become her life partner, too. The two have the industry in their lifeblood, having met when their paths crossed working for The Bar Room and Death & Co, respectively.
The duo have adopted an Italian theme for their bar, speaking to the couple's roots in the country. "Nobody's doing Italian spirits, we wanted to take it in a different direction," Rodriquez says. While their history is centered on cocktails, the couple says they don't like the connotation of a cocktail bar. Their creations ($12) eschew the overwrought drinks that have become an industry standard. "You can get a great cocktail with two-to-three ingredients," Rodriguez says. "It's faster, too."
Each original cocktail comes with an explanation behind the name and ingredients. The You Always Remember Your First is a reference to Sartor's first sips of alcohol: red wine and sprite. Italian spirits and liqueurs are the basis of many of the original and classic cocktails, like the Rossini with Prosecco and fresh strawberry juice and an Amaretto Sour made with fresh sour mix.
Rodriguez and his brother will be cooking up some fun bar fare as well, like an Italian Grilled Cheese with a side of marinara for dipping and an Italian Sloppy Jay with sausage, provolone and marinara on a potato roll. The menu's gonna change, but expect cheese and meat-type things to go with the Italian craft beer the bar's importing.
387 Court Street, Carroll Gardens