Next Wednesday, ApothÃ©ke introduces a list of $65 “reserve cocktails” along with a selection of bar snacks (you can see both menus below, along with an explanation of why the “artisianal” [sic] drinks cost so much), but Albert Trummer says the Chinatown bar is pinching pennies. The mixologist, who was busted for allegedly setting his bar aflame, goes to court next month to fight charges of reckless endangerment and criminal nuisance, and he says his partner, Heather Tierney (along with the bar’s investors), is leaving him to fend for himself. His partners consider his case a personal matter, but Trummer, who has already racked up $5,000 in lawyers fees, tells us, “If you invest in a bar or a restaurant, it’s a liability. Whether it’s underage alcohol or whatever, an investor can’t suddenly say, ‘I didn’t invest in that.’ It was in the [opening] press release— we all know that Albert Trummer does flaming cocktails.”
According to the FDNY’s report on the bust, however, he wasn’t just doing a flaming absinthe rinse— he was lighting the length of the bar on fire and was warned against it before an undercover investigation was launched. We also hear Trummer’s investors warned him not to continue the display, though Tierney declined to comment on the matter. Trummer says it’s “one of the saddest times of my life” because the bar has been in the black (i.e. making a profit, not charred) for the past six months, and he feels his colleagues should be standing behind him. “I paid over $400,000 the past two years— hardworking sweat equity every day there.” At the same time, the pyrotechnics have left the bar in a bad position: The State Liquor Authority, which leveled a $3,000 fine in June, renewed the bar’s license in August, but we hear that the renewal was contingent on the outcome of Trummer’s trial.
Meanwhile, Trummer’s solo project, Theater Bar, still hasn’t opened and is currently hosting private parties. He tells us he just brought a “magic bartender” aboard. But can he make these legal woes disappear?