Chris Hardin of The Beverly in Scottsdale on Creating the Bar's New Identity
The Chim Chimney Chareau contains a cooling profile, using a cucumber aloe liqueur, lime, and mint.
When Aaron May sold Mabel's on Main to Genuine Concepts — the company that opened four locations of The Vig, as well as The Little Woody and Linger Longer Lounge — nearly one year ago, it left a lot up in the air in the Scottsdale cocktail scene. Mabel's on Main had been one of the area's better wells, and it was in a prime location, just cocktail-crawl distance from the other well-regarded bars.
Under new ownership, would quality slip?
It became what's now called The Beverly. And initially, with the dark atmosphere, serious leather seating, and hefty bar remaining in the space, the new spot still looked at lot like Mabel's. Over the following months, that would begin to change.
"Mabel's meant a lot to a lot of people," says Chris Hardin, the Beverly's general manager. "When my friends would come visit, I would always take them to three places, and Mabel's was always one of them . . . The space is still the space, but we opened it up a little — expanded the patio, added some windows, reduced the clutter. I couldn't be happier with it."
The classic drinks are still there but Hardin and bar manager Tony Lemos have worked to put out signature drinks that end up being some of the more dramatic changes to the space. Notably, there are drinks like the Chim Chimney Chareau (Hendricks Gin, Chareau, tomato water, cracked black pepper, lime, mint), and the Heart of the Sun (St. George green chile vodka, yellow chartreuse, AZ Sunshine bitters, mango nectar syrup) that have intriguing savory tastes but double-down on cooling and refreshing flavors to match the season.
The Jameson & the Giant Peach cocktail blends with whiskey with plenty of fruity touches.
One of the bar favorites is more straightforward but will satisfy those looking for something fruity and balanced with good old fashioned whiskey. Jameson & the Giant Peach is infused Jameson with peach, accented by apricot liqueur and angostura bitters and lengthened by Fever Tree Bitter Lemon soda.
"I was really inspired by Southwest summers," Hardin says. "And I wanted to do something that was catered to Arizona weather. Something that's refreshing and something you want a couple of."
A big goal of Hardin's has been to create an environment that sounded different from Mabel's. Live jazz, as opposed to the entertainment provided by DJs at Mabel's, now fills the space many nights during the week.
"We open up those doors and let people know we're here," he says.
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