Inspired by trips to Hawaii, Michael Lombardozzi has opened Dromedary, a 16-seat bar that aims to be tiki without being tacky. Inside, Bushwick’s newest watering hole looks like a dilapidated old store (“in a good way,” insists the owner/“drinks guy”). The decor is “loosely based around the aesthetic of a tiki bar,” with a foam-green banquet that’s supposed to be reminiscent of palm trees, an oceanic aqua-green wall, and “little hints of Hawaiian culture,” like tiki god masks. There’s a small outdoor area for two-person tables.
The cricket-topped deviled eggs, pu-pu platter, arancini-style Spam musubi and furikake-seasoned popcorn that Lombardozzi told us about back in November all made it onto chef Brian Baskoff’s opening menu. Other items include an award-winning burger (well, it took top honors at Lombardozzi’s family cookout, anyway) with smoked bleu cheese, pickled onions, and a bun that’s toasted with pumpkin-pie spice and honey. “Just the smell of that and that touch of sweetness with the bleu cheese is ridiculous,” Lombardozzi assures.
On the drinks menu, the Mount Kilauea Colada is supposed to resemble its namesake volcano, with blue curacao on the bottom (the ocean), blood orange on the top (the lava), and allspice and absinthe (open to interpretation). The signature cocktail, The Dromedary, pays homage to the eponymous canned date-nut bread that was popular in the ’50s, via ingredients like walnut-date orgeat, a “nutty” Pedro Ximenez sherry, aged rum, and a topping of Bushwick Critter Bitters.
Once weekend brunch starts in the next couple of weeks, Saturday morning shows like Pee Wee’s Playhouse and Saved By The Bell will be projected while diners sip kimchi bloody marys and dig into Scotch-eggs benedict on bialy, macadamia nut pancakes with passion-fruit syrup and coconut whipped cream, and a “big breakfast” plate inspired by a Hawaiian staple. “It’s sunny-side eggs, sticky rice, hot sauce, sausage, Spam. It’s got everything on it,” said Lombardozzi, adding a disclaimer that theirs won’t be quite as enormous as it is in Hawaii “because it’s just not healthy for you.”
Musical performances like the one tonight, by electric sitar/guitar player Rob Mastrianni, will be occasional. Lombardozzi said he’s working on a Beach Blanket Bingo-inspired event, where burlesque dancers will wear retro bikinis and maybe even play Twister with patrons. Their website is coming soon, so stay tuned to their Facebook and Instagram pages for updates.
Dromedary Bar, located at 266 Irving Avenue, is open Monday to Thursday from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 4 a.m., and Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. for brunch. On late nights the kitchen closes around 1 a.m.