The Alembic is restaurateur Dave McLean's dedication to cocktail and culinary perfection at every level. Honoring that commitment, Nothing Something designed and crafted a richly detailed interior that communicates early 20th century craftsmanship, recalling an era in Immigrant America where newcomers spent their entire lives dedicated to their trade, and a premium was placed on hard work.
Alembic enjoys a branding program filled with thoughtful graphics and relatable, entertainingly written drink descriptions, which strikes an accessible balance with the enjoyably serious tone of the interiors. A five-pound waterjet cut steel menu holder houses the extensive liquor collection; after all, nothing says “We mean business” like a book you can hardly lift. The result? GQ, Esquire, Food & Wine and Gourmet have called The Alembic “The Best Bar in America”.
“An atmosphere of gritty, bluesy cool pervades this intimate, rough-hewn yet sophisticated bar and small-plates restaurant, where a person can get a bourbon old-fashioned and a slow-braised oxtail sandwich. The unique bar is roomy where it counts---behind the counter, so the hard-working bartenders can move around---and fashioned from recycled Kezar Stadium bleachers. The whole room smells of roasted malt and old wood, and features a tin ceiling and soft, bare-bulb droplights against dust-colored walls. The drink list is filled with the brown stuff---Manhattans, Sazeracs, and a turn-of-the-century rye whiskey concoction known as The Bone---perfect for gambling types and transients in vintage fedoras.” - Zagat