NYC cocktail update – Apotheke and Milk & Honey

UPDATE: I got a much clearer picture of Apotheke’s reservation policy, so I’ve spelled it out in more detail below.

I’m writing with an update on the newest haute-cocktail scene in Chinatown named Apotheke.  As I’m sure many of you have already heard by now, it’s opening in a former opium den in an obscure, difficult to reach location in a quiet corner of Chinatown.

It officially opened a couple weeks ago, but not to the general public.  It was the scene of some Fashion Week parties and various other private events, but as of this past Friday the 12th, Apotheke is officially open to regular joes like you and me.  For the average mixology-seeking cocktail enthusiast, though, Apotheke is shaping up to be quite a different scene than PDT, Death and Company, and others.

Here’s the official reservation policy, procedure, and information:

  • It costs $1,000 to make a table reservation, and that $1,000 is the minimum table spend, not the upfront cost
  • The $1,000 can be spent any way the group would like, whether it’s on cocktails or bottle service
  • Cocktails start at $15 and go much higher depending on ingredients and size
  • Tables can fit between 5 and 10 people, but the majority fit 5
  • I did the math for you, dear readers: for an average table, each person would have to buy on average 10 cocktails to reach the $1,000 minimum
  • You do not need a reservation to go, but there’s definitely going to be a long wait
  • To make reservations, call 212-406-0400 between 12pm and 6pm Monday through Saturday
  • Apotheke is open from 6:30pm through 2am Monday through Saturday

I think it would be an understatement for me to say I’m disappointed with this policy.  Some of the best spots in the city for a cozy cocktails are tucked away tables in cool, speakeasy cocktail lounges that were earned simply by placing the right call at the right time.  That wonder seems to be gone here, replaced instead by the kind of high-roller atmosphere purposely fostered by Goldbar and others.

In other cocktail news, Milk and Honey has officially changed their number, so all of you dear readers who finally found that holiest of grails, that elusive 718 number, you should probably go ahead and erase it from your phones.  Damn you M&H, why must be so elusive!

Mark posted this on September 14, 2008 and is filed under New York.

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