David Flanagan paused to talk with us shortly before officially opening the doors to Saloon, the subterranean pre-speakeasy below Foundry on Elm that he co-owns with partner Ken Kelly. “I don’t want anything fancy or emulsions or froths or fusions going on!” he told us with a chortle. Instead: whiskey, wood, and meat pie.
As such: Drinks will be served in true saloon style, with a max of five ingredients per cocktail. (We suggest you go elsewhere if you want anything convoluted, “skinny,” or fruity.) Food, meanwhile, arrives on a wooden board. Flanagan’s pick is a stuffed roast chicken that serves two, and steak and kidney pie. This is solid food, “food that isn’t going to offend anyone,” he jokes. “New York, 1918.” In fact, Flanagan says he was partially inspired by Ken Burns’s Prohibition documentary, which captured the era on film. Flanagan hopes to do the same in a bottle.
At the stove is ex-New Yorker Brady Duhame (“He’s a classic crazy New York chef that did it all and probably took about 25 years off his life in the process!” Flanagan enthuses), as well as Thomas Keller-trained Derek Clough. At the bar, you’ll find Dennis Cargill ("everybody knows him”) and Tom Mastricola ("the guy is the master of cocktails”).
In sum: “It’s a little bit masculine and there’s a lot of whiskey involved. Very wooden, very brass.” The first drink will be poured at 5 o’clock sharp.