Spencer Rothschild, who helped open Calle Ocho and now owns Barrio on Park Slope’s Seventh Avenue, is planting two new ones on Fifth Avenue. The first, Cabana Bar (already up and running), is located in a former garage that’s gotten a tropical makeover via a glass-panel roof, French doors, a palm tree, and a 25-seat front patio. Partner-chef Adrian Leon, also of Barrio (before that he helped open Chicama and Pipa under Douglas Rodriguez and was chef at Rosa Mexicano), has created a menu of tapas-type dishes, arepas, oyster empanadas, and anticuchos — Peruvian skewers of homemade chorizo, chimichurri chicken, and the like. The tiki bar will serve the usual mojitos and Pisco sours as well as a twelve-year-old rum martini and two-person “bonfire bowls” (proceed with caution). After Cabana Bar gets its sea legs, Rothschild will open Playa in a connected space that has an entry on Fifth Avenue. “Go to your favorite Latin American resort,” Rothschild tells us, “and Cabana Bar is the bar/restaurant, and Playa is the restaurant/restaurant.” No disrespect, but you won’t find us straying far from the tiki hut.
Cabana Bar, 648 President St., nr. Fifth Ave., Park Slope; 718-399-2161