Don't look for a sign; just peer in the window to see if drinks are pouring.EXPAND
Don't look for a sign; just peer in the window to see if drinks are pouring.
Mark Antonation

Tatarian Is Now Stirring Cocktails on Tennyson Street

For the past several years, Mike Huggins and Lenka Juchelkova have been building niches around the metro area to show off their penchant for adult beverages in various settings. From the classic Arvada Tavern with its hidden upstairs room (accessible through a phone booth) to the pre-Prohibition Union Lodge No. 1 to the boisterous benches of Kline's Beer Hall, each of the couple's watering holes has a distinct personality. And now comes Tatarian at 4024 Tennyson Street, adding a tight roster of modern cocktails in swank setting.

Tatarian is named after a species of maple tree common in the Berkeley neighborhood, and the tree theme extends to the cocktail menu — which reads more like a botanist's travel guide around the world. Drinks are named, for example, after dragon's blood trees found near the Arabian Sea, an apple varietal found in New England and the Arbol Del Tule, one of the largest trees in the world.

Gleaming bottles line the bar at Tatarian.EXPAND
Gleaming bottles line the bar at Tatarian.
Mark Antonation

But don't go expecting an alphabetized list or one organized by base spirits. General manager Josh Sevy explains that the menu is somewhat random in its organization so that guests can read through the descriptions to select the perfect cocktail for the moment; a key on the table-of-contents page helps organize the list by style of glass and ice, giving at least a hint of the contents of each.

But blends of multiple spirits — well beyond the standard gin, whiskey, rum and vodka — are the focus, including uncommon amaros, bitters and other elixirs based on botanicals from around the world.

Cocktails are named after trees.EXPAND
Cocktails are named after trees.
Mark Antonation
The decor is mid-century elegant with modern touches.EXPAND
The decor is mid-century elegant with modern touches.
Mark Antonation
The cocktail menu describes various trees around the world as well as the cocktails named after them.EXPAND
The cocktail menu describes various trees around the world as well as the cocktails named after them.
Mark Antonation
A Tatarian bartender prepares a smoked cocktail.EXPAND
A Tatarian bartender prepares a smoked cocktail.
Mark Antonation
Looking from the back of the bar toward the front windows.EXPAND
Looking from the back of the bar toward the front windows.
Mark Antonation

Sevy also notes that two tap handles will soon be added for beer (most likely a rotating selection of IPAs and sour beers), and there will also be a selection of four wines and limited bar bites. The space is small at only 900 square feet, and reservations will not be accepted. The hours are 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily; see Tatarian's Facebook page for updates and details.

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