There’s a new bar in NoLIta, but don’t expect to find any booze there.
The Drug Store, which soft opened June 28 at 232 Elizabeth St. and marked its grand opening July 7, serves handcrafted elixirs made by bartenders that don’t have any alcohol in them.
Dirty Lemon, an online functional beverage company known for its activated charcoal detox cleanse, is behind what it’s called a “nonalcoholic bar.”
“There’s a lot of craft that goes into making each of our beverages,” Dirty Lemon co-founder Zak Normandin said. “The impetus for this location really just came by way of wanting to show customers the kind of craft that goes into what they’re drinking out of the bottle.”
The five elixirs ($10 each) include versions of the bottled beverages Dirty Lemon currently sells online, but with a “cocktail approach.” Its signature Detox, for instance, here uses muddled ginger, instead of ginger juice, while the Skin+Hair uses fresh chili peppers instead of cayenne. Brand-new drinks also include Matcha (lemon, matcha, vanilla and cardamom) and Rose Lemonade (lemon, Bulgarian rose water, chamomile and orange blossom honey); Normandin sees the bar as a testing ground for drinks that might make it to a national audience through its site.
The menu also includes a couple experiential “rarities” ($12), available in a smaller format only at the bar: a shot of fresh lemon juice served with a Miracle Berry, which makes sour things taste sweet, and liquid cacao and a dose of pure CBD, or cannabidiol, paired with chili or sea salt.
The brand worked with several mixologists to develop the menu, and the bartenders’ resumes include cocktail havens such as Extra Fancy in Williamsburg and Smith & Mills and Evening Bar, both in TriBeCa.
“We’re really trying to recreate what people have come to expect with a craft cocktail bar,” Normandin said. “You’re getting all the craft and elements that you would find at a really high-profile cocktail bar, like Maison Premiere or Death & Co., but having that without the alcohol in a format that is accessible to everyone.”
The space itself is modeled after 1950s pharmacies and soda fountains, with giant signs that say “Drugs” and “Tonics.”
The bar seats seven, with reservations available via Resy.
“It’s the spot where you’re going to get the most genuine experience, with the bartender,” Normandin said.
Unlike booze-stocked bars, The Drug Store is only open during the day, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. But Dirty Lemon plans to host after-hours private parties for companies, during which spiked versions of the drinks will be available.
For more info, visit drugstore.dirtylemon.com.
Hold the booze
Want more handcrafted, non-alcoholic beverages? Head to these restaurants and shops for tonics, sodas and soft cocktails:
Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Paulette Cole’s third venture features a menu of restorative tonics (pick from Joy, Brain, Grounding, Heart and Spirit) made with herbs and plants such as brahmi, St. John’s wort and blue lotus. $9/each; 38 E. 19th St., 212-475-5829, abchome.com/eat/abcv
This wellness shop from the folks behind Cafe Clover sells a variety of bottled tonics, such as lavender yuzu, cinnamon cleanse, and activated charcoal lemonade. $7/each; 259 Sixth Ave., clovergrocery.com
The Michelin-starred vegetarian restaurant’s offers a nonalcoholic drinks menu that consists of three housemade sodas: pear and cardamom; blackberry and juniper; and blood orange and chamomile. $8/each; 72 University Pl., 212-498-9393, nixny.com
At Camille Becerra’s hip eatery, sip on unique soft drinks, including cucumber, jasmine, ginger lemon, and turmeric tonic, if you’re not in the mood for a cocktail. $6/each; 19 Kenmare St., 212-966-3058, demarianyc.com
The hotel bar is known almost as much for its soft cocktails as its boozy companions. Its nonalcoholic libations range from sweet (the Paradise City, with grapefruit, passionfruit and vanilla) to strong (the Gingered-Ale, with ginger and lime). $10/each; 1170 Broadway, 212-796-1500, thenomadhotel.com