When it opens tonight, Black Rose will be serving up “Personal Jesuses” and “Comfortably Numbs” at what was, for over three decades, Odessa Cafe and Bar. Don’t be too shocked by the makeover- the space has been hit with a dose of classic rock and roll, but if you look carefully you’ll recognize the booths near the door.
Owners Joseph Daniele and Robert Payne redecorated Odessa’s former barroom with reclaimed objects including recycled wood, metal, and elements salvaged from film sets. Church doors enjoy a second life as shutters for the front windows, and a photo of the Lizard King presides over the back room.
General manager Ashely Poe showed us the small outdoor space in the back, which is still a work in progress. Its main feature is a large seat–basically a giant couch–which will soon be covered in big comfy pillows. Its metal base is made out Odessa’s old kitchen hood.
All the vintage and repurposed materials are in an effort to maintain some of Odessa’s original vibe. “We tried to keep the building in its original state,” said Poe. “We wanted to keep the history alive.”
In keeping with the theme, Jessy Peters (Bodega Negra at the Dream Hotel), head bartender Ivo Diaz (former bartender at The NoMad Bar and The NoMad restaurant), and Poe concocted a drink menu with something for everyone, depending on which rock star you feel like channeling that night. There’s Light My Fire (bourbon, apricot preserve, lemon), Hells Bells (mezcal, lime, agave, celery bitters), Comfortably Numb (gin, Cointreau, lemon juice, orange marmalade) and Personal Jesus (gin, lavender syrup, lime, lavender bitters).
The beer program focuses on craft beers from around the world, with five on draft and more than a dozen available by the bottle. They plan to add a food menu within the next few weeks.
Daniele was inspired by the music of his childhood when crafting the bar’s all-important playlist. Growing up in the Bronx in an Italian/Puerto Rican household he heard disco, classic rock, merengue and New Wave, all played by his six siblings and parents.
And it wouldn’t be a true rock and roll bar without live music every now and then. Musicians will stop by a couple times a month to play acoustic sets on nights with themes like disco, burlesque and LGBT.
The Black Rose opens to the public tonight at 10 p.m. and will open at its normal time, 4 p.m., starting tomorrow. Poe informed us that because Odessa was such an institution the bar was grandfathered in when it comes to hours of operation, which means that at Black Rose you can party like a rock star every day of the week until 4 a.m.
The Black Rose, 117 Avenue A, bet. St. Marks and East 7th St., 212-253-0400