Getting in: On a strip of Little Italy mostly known for its red-sauce Italian ‘straunts and cannoli vendors, The Mulberry Project hides from sight, behind a recessed red door below street level. Reservations for the backyard are recommended and on weekends a doorman will stand outside past 10pm.
Vibe/layout: This speakeasy is stylish without being pretentious. The interior is small, long and narrow with a few choice black leather booths along one wall and bright red metal bar stools at the bar. The bright crimson mural created by Kurtis Kulig (aka LoveMe at the Ace Hotel) highlights the speakeasy’s focal point, the bar, transforming it into a “stage” for cocktail craftsmanship. The dim lighting and color scheme, along with the industrial lamps dangling from the low ceiling, illuminate the energy and focus of this speakeasy: cocktails. In the summer, the back graffiti-decorated garden and patio is open (and is AMAZING).
Drinks: Order a custom-crafted cocktail. Period. I chose the ingredients of my drink from the chalkboard menu, my poison, desired flavors (sweet, spicy, sour, etc) and a selection of fresh fruit, et voila! My vodka-based mango cocktail with a bit of fizz was delicious! The combinations will vary from day-to-day and bartender to bartender, but the cocktails are all beautifully executed.
F.Y.I.: A collection of nightlife all-stars (Milk & Honey, Boom Boom Room, Surf Lodge, Bagatelle, RdV) reinvented their cocktails, menu and decor with this speakeasy.