Bushwick already has a heck of a tiki bar in El Cortez, but soon it’ll get some company in the form of Dromedary.
Michael Lombardozzi, the drinks guy (he’s not big into the word “mixologist”) who put countless customers of One if By Land, Two if By Sea into face-sucking mode, is striking out on his own and opening an “urban tiki” bar on the corner of Irving and Menahan, near the Bushwick-Ridgewood border.
We first noticed signage for it while we were admiring the former theater for sale nearby.
Lombardozzi isn’t aiming for “a kitschy cliché of a tiki bar where it’s grass skirts” and such – so don’t expect waterfalls and bamboo a la Jersey favorites (Lee’s Hawaiian Islander, Lun Wah, Chan’s Dragon Inn).
The tiki label is more of an excuse to “emphasize cocktailing more, but without it being that uptight Manhattan cocktail bar.” Lombardozzi wants license to be “a little bit goofy.”
Case in point: Indian-inspired “Tikka Tiki Tuesdays,” where there’ll be a belly dancer and drinks with ingredients like turmeric, persimmon, and pomegranate. (We’re assuming they’ll have “hump” day specials, since a dromedary is a single-humped camel). Another cross-cultural experiment: deviled eggs topped with fried cricket (they’re popular in Mexico, Lombardozzi noted).
Shareable plates will nod to Hawaii and Polynesia in the form of a pu-pu platter, an arancini-style spin on Spam musubi, and furikake-seasoned popcorn. Sandwiches will be stuffed with ingredients like fried kale, foie gras, duck confit, and prosciutto.
As for the drinks, they’re “not going to be straightforward tiki,” even if they’re served in tiki mugs and coconuts. The pina colada, for instance, might contain absinthe and a drizzle of blood orange. Another drink will combine gin, coconut cream, ginger, and coconut soda. There might even be a house version of a Zombie on tap.
Lombardozzi is aiming for a Dec. 15 opening, barring any delays. It is monsoon season, after all.
Dromedary Bar, 266 Irving Ave., at Menahan St., Bushwick