We headed over to Wilson & Wilson (505 Jones, entry through Bourbon & Branch) last night for the last of their preview nights, and had several delicious drinks — our favorite, the Hard Boiled, was in the third course, digestifs, and contained Hayman’s Old Tom Gin, Laird’s 100 proof apple brandy, Zucca Amaro, Cardamaro Amaro, and cinnamon-infused orange bitters. Today, the Tenderblog gets the marvelous little story behind the name from manager (and creative director) Justin Lew, which involves a purse they found wedged in the wall of the basement of Bourbon & Branch, which was an actual speakeasy during Prohibition that you entered through the hotel next door.
Per the Tender:
Most interesting in all of this was that they found a woman’s purse wedged in to the wall containing lipstick, nail file, and all. The name on the old driver’s license they found in it was Lorraine Wilson [see the fictional dossier they created for Wilson, “missing” since around 1932]. They thought about naming the bar after her, but “Lorraine’s” sounded like a diner (think “Lori’s” and think “bleah”), so they decided to go for The Wilson. They had joked about hiring a detective to find out more about her, and this conversation evolved in to a film noir theme. But how to connect a bar with the private eye beyond the fact that literary detectives were heavy drinkers? That was actually quite simple as the whole concept of The Wilson is about creating elaborate cocktails requiring a lot of knowledge and research. So, they envisioned their creations as “investigative cocktails” which was a tagline then added to the title of the menu. Also important to note is that as the creative director (and a graphic designer by trade) Justin Lew designed the awesome logo for the Wilson and Wilson Private Detective Agency, as well as the menu and stationary.
Thus, all the noir-ish elements, which extend to drink names like Dark City, Pulp Fiction, and Truth Serum, and the name of the bar coalesce.
Furthermore, bartender-managers Ian Scalzo and Jayson Wilde tell us the menu will be changing about monthly. And among the tinctures we saw, lying in wait along the back bar but not yet employed in any cocktails, were morel and chanterelle concoctions, so expect some semi-savory mushroom cocktail to take shape in the 2.0 menu.
The Wilson & Wilson Private Detective Agency [Tenderblog]
Earlier: More Details Regarding Wilson & Wilson, Including House-Made Tobacco Bitters [Grub Street]