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.
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.
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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.