Takuma Watanabe, formerly at the helm of the now-shuttered Angel’s Share, has introduced a stunning new three-level cocktail bar concept that features immaculate digs into a former Carriage House. The ethos of the bar is anchored by the art of omotenashi: the Japanese term for hospitality. Expect hot hand towels and, Japanese whiskies, eye-pleasing presentation, and top-notch mixology.
OUR ARTICLEBY: Andrew Williams Contributing writer
In April 2022, Takuma Watanabe, the head bartender at New York’s famed and now shuttered, Angel’s Share, launched Martinys, a stunning three-floor cocktail bar. Housed in a renovated Carriage House, Watanabe’s maiden solo concept evokes the ethos of his Japanese heritage and the art of omotenashi — the Japanese term for hospitality. Inside this space, no detail is spared.
On the ground level, patrons are welcomed with an oshibori, or a warm towel, and given full access to the impressive multi-level drinking den. The bar’s name pays homage to Watanabe’s preferred drink and the building’s previous tenant and sculptor, Philip Martiny.
The industrial interior features beautiful exposed red brick, rich dark wood, opulent red bar chairs, opaque pendant lights, additional elegant furniture pieces, dazzling natural light, jazz music to set the mood, Japanese bar snacks, and libations served in coveted Kimura glassware: paper-thin, lightweight spirit capsules. The drink menu showcases Wantanabe’s take on ten classic cocktails (The Tea Ceremony, a matcha concoction, is a notable option), all beginning at $20, and served by bartenders dressed in dapper white suit jackets; We wouldn’t expect anything less from Watanabe, who’s known for his immaculate presentation.
The energetic first floor (each floor is 450 square feet) offers 16-18 bar seats, and the second floor has a more laid-back atmosphere and unveils a curated selection of 20 Japanese Whiskies (customers have the choice of purchasing a bottle). The basement level is available exclusively for private parties of 12-18 guests.
It’s the kind of joint where guests are encouraged to bring a sense of humor, a conversational disposition, and an appreciation for an elevated, unique, yet accessible experience inside handsome digs.