In a moment that can only be described as glorious, cocktails returned to the menu at Warsaw’s Oak and Alley. Angels flapped their wings, babies giggled and choruses around the world declared in unison – “Hallelujah!” It was a momentous occasion indeed.
When Oak and Alley first opened its doors a few years ago, it was primarily known as a cocktail bar. It’s the place not only enjoyed cocktails but learned about them as I spent countless hours bellied up to the bar, geeking out with the bartenders about their craft. Over time, the original cocktails were replaced by classics and brews, burgers were introduced and before you knew it, owner Dave Gustafson’s cocktail bar had become a burgers and beers joint, serving the best of the former in the county. The overwhelming popularity of the burgers necessitated a move to bigger digs and when the Great Wall closed, Gustafson picked up shop and moved across town.
There was only one problem – the Great Wall didn’t have a three way liquor license. For the first few months (a length of time that seemed like decades to yours truly), the new Oak and Alley location could only serve beer and wine. That changed a couple months ago when a three way liquor license was approved. Cocktails were on the way back, baby.
It took another couple weeks to get everything in order but on one visit, I finally spotted the heading that confirmed the rumors I had been hearing – “COCKTAILS.” In my mind, all I could hear was massive choirs proclaiming in majestic tones – “Hallelujah!”
There are no originals on the menu but you will find the classics you are used to seeing at the old location. There are a couple new ones and on our visit, they couldn’t make the Vieux Carre or Negroni (apparently, someone forgot to order the sweet vermouth). My previous go to, the Smoked Old Fashioned, was on the menu and that’s all I was concerned about.
If you’ve been looking for an excuse to check out the new Oak and Alley location, I can’t think of a better reason to get it moved up on your schedule. The burgers are top notch as always, kids are accommodated and well, you know … cocktails.