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Cure Cocktail Bar — What Ales Ya?

We went to that new cocktail bar Cure on Freret street. I like that place. Definitely classy and the people there were classy all dressed fairly nicely and I kept glancing at the couple on our right, the pretty girl and the handsome guy with the full face and curly hair with the one curl falling over his forehead. There was a very nice energy coming from both of them.

I got a Sazerac and watched Turk make it, the handsome be-tied bartender… actually, no… although he was a bartender I will put him in the category of professional mixologist for that is what he was. He was definitely professional all the way. Dressed nicely and with a calm, cool yet friendly demeanor which was just the right tone for this seemingly upscale place.

Yes, it looked and felt a little New York or West Coast but it had that definite hard to define New Orleans tinge to it. Maybe it was the people, maybe it’s the fact that it’s uptown New Orleans. Maybe it was the large poster of a dissected cockroach. It definitely was not the music, that kind of heavy bass background rumble and thumping you find at some of these supposedly, hip upscale places. It was not distracting but a little too loud at times. It was nice when the gentle soothing mysterious theme from Twin Peaks came through. Remember that? So strange, so earthy and ethereal, so unusual.

Yes, Turk was friendly enough but there was that aloofness that was there that was probably the kind of thing the place needs. I mean this guy is a professional after all. Watching him mix the drink, putting in the exact amount of bitters with an eyedropper and very focused on his work and still the sense that he enjoyed every bit of what he did.

It was an aloofness that seemed to be cultivated in a way. Just the right amount of engaging with the customers without being intrusive or too fresh, a definite professional quality. It seems that I am harping on this a lot. I am because rarely does one see someone so seemingly enamored of his work that he elevates the job of bartender to something sublime, to another level so to speak, something beyond just tending bar to a place of integrity and care.

Anyway, as you can see the thing I was most impressed with in this place was not just the dark warm atmosphere or the stark lines of the place or it’s similarity to hip, modern bars of other supposedly more sophisticated cities but with this Turk guy who was mixing his drinks directly in front of me. I enjoyed watching him, I enjoyed watching him enjoy what he was doing. Maybe other folks would go there and not see or be impressed by what I saw. I just enjoy watching people who are good at what they do enjoy themselves.

I asked him if he went to bartender school or mixology classes but he said no, he just picked it all up by working there. That impressed me too, he became good by just working at the job and wanting to do better than his best.

When we were growing up my dad forbade us to work in a bar or restaurant. Said it wouldn’t look good on the resume or something like that. I don’t know why he thought that. I think I certainly would have enjoyed tending bar the way Turk was doing it. So I don’t know. Back then thought I didn’t know that there was something at the level of mixologist.

I think perhaps my dad was trying to protect us from the atmosphere of maybe some lowlife kind of people who hang out at bars. But there was no evidence of that kind of thing at Cure. The bartenders there don’t seem to be the type that would listen to or want to listen to their customers troubles. It’s not the kind of place for the regular who sits at the same seat at the end of the bar drowning his sorrows in a beer and a pack of cigarettes. Heck you can’t even smoke in there.

That’s another thing that made it nice, no ghastly nostril-burning and clothes-hungry cigarette smoke. No. Cure I think is the cure for not only for the dis-ease of some world-weariness but it’s also the cure for what ails a lot of bars not only in this town but all over. A nice relaxed unpretentious place to go manned by professionals who like what they do and who unobtrusively take care of you. The Sazerac was really good by the way.

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Posted in New Orleans Life, New Orleans Restaurants.

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