Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Aidan Demarest has been the pied piper of cocktails in Los Angeles. He has led cocktail enthusiasts to Seven Grand, the Edison, First & Hope, 1886, and The Spare Room among others, most of which he has managed as well. Finally Demarest has a bar he can truly call home. Neat, in Glendale, opened last week and is the first bar that Demarest has owned. He joins a select few LA bartenders/managers with ownership stakes in their establishments, which include Eric Alperin of The Varnish and Dave Whitton of Villains Tavern.
After so many years selling cocktails, Demarest brings a different twist to Neat. Rather than the bartenders making cocktails, they provide a spirit neat, hence the name, and a mixer in a separate glass. This way patrons can mix their own cocktails as well as get to taste the spirit without the mixer in it. I recommend getting a spirit and a chaser, sangrita style, so you can sip one and then the other, alternating. Diplomatico rum was my liquor of choice, which was served alongside some locally made soda.
Neat is casual, unpretentious and is very unlike anything else in Glendale. In many ways it would be unique even in the cocktail mecca of Downtown Los Angeles. I am curious to see how locals react to the conversion of what had been a dive bar to a place with a very legit back bar and knowledgeable barmen. Of course there will be guest mixology events as Demarest can't help inviting his friends over to play. Stay tuned here for updates on those.
For those who can hang on a Friday afternoon and have a passion for learning about spirits, Neat will be hosting the first of its Distiller Series as David Perkins, the distiller of High West Distillery in Park City, Utah, will be tasting and discussing rye with the lucky attendees this Friday October 21st from 2 - 5 pm.
Neat: 1114 Pacific Avenue, Glendale. Phone: (818) 241-4542. Website: www.theneatbar.com