First Taste

Baby Boy at The Pemberton: Only Go If You’re Loaded (Drunk and Rich)

Baby Boy at Pemberton.
Baby Boy at Pemberton. Lauren Cusimano
When a new spot opens in town, we're eager to check it out, let you know our initial impressions, share a few photos, and dish about some menu items. First Sip, as the name implies, is not a full-blown review, but instead, a peek inside restaurants that have just opened — an occasion to sample a few items and satisfy curiosities (both yours and ours).

Bar: Baby Boy
Location: 1121 North Second Street
Eats/drinks: Craft cocktails
Open: About a month
Price: $$-$$$
Hours: 4 to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 4 p.m. to midnight Friday and. Saturday, and 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday

As of about a month ago, there's a new cocktail bar at The Pemberton, the outdoor funporium located at the historic Pemberton House, just off Roosevelt Row.

It's called Baby Boy, and it was founded by Colton Brock (Ladera Taverna y Cocina), Tyka Cheng (UnderTow, Gallo Blanco, Jobot), and John Sagasta (Jobot’s owner). It's housed in an Airstream trailer hidden among some infant oleander bushes along Portland Street, and it's sort of hard to find; you have to meander through the lively, loud, vaguely dreamlike paths that course through the Pemberton's grounds. (Or you can just ask somebody where the hell it is.)

click to enlarge The Blue Hawaiian ($13). - LAUREN CUSIMANO
The Blue Hawaiian ($13).
Lauren Cusimano
Arrive at the Airstream, and you'll find bartenders shaking and pouring brilliantly colorful drinks behind the walk-up window. The seating area is completely capped off by privacy hedges adorned with soft lighting and Adirondack chairs. Hip-hop blares.

Ideally, you're already buzzed and willing to spend some money.

The menu is a mix of signature cocktails, wine coolers, and frozen drinks. We went for the Mojito ($12), Blue Hawaiian ($13), and the Oaxacolada ($14). Each drink is theatrically made, and topped with bright, fresh fruit you will definitely want to eat.

So, yeah: If you’re picking up the first round, be prepared to fork over some cash.

The drinks are ... sugary. They are very sweet. One member of our party bailed, both on the Mojito and the party, to go find a beer. Another took a few minutes to get used to the Blue Hawaiian (predicting a stomachache all the while) but then finished it within minutes. Turns out there was a Starbucks-level amount of ice in that cup.

click to enlarge The Oaxacolada ($14). - LAUREN CUSIMANO
The Oaxacolada ($14).
Lauren Cusimano
We recommend the Oaxacolada. Though it's the second most expensive drink on the menu, this frozen drink contains a great deal of Oaxacan mezcal (and coconut, lime, pineapple, etc.). Once you get used to the amount of alcohol, you are set. Lean back in that Adirondack chair, talk loud over all the commotion, do some quality people-watching, and start to enjoy getting drunk in the extremely nice new adult playground. We would return for this drink.

Our verdict on Baby Boy: Thank goodness it has an excellent atmosphere.
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Lauren Cusimano is Phoenix New Times' food and drink editor. She is a journalist and food waste writer based in Tempe. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.
Contact: Lauren Cusimano