Discourse Coffee Workshop, which announced last week that it will be closing its Crossroads Collective stall on January 1 and replacing it with another business, will open The Counter Day Bar, serving non-alcoholic cocktails, starting in February.
Discourse announced the new venture on social media on Monday. The logo on the counter calls it a noro bar, like no-proof or low-proof drinks.
“The counter’s mission is to provide a place where all people, whether consuming alcohol or not, can come together and feel seen, heard, and cared for. We have taken the word mocktail from the world We aim to eliminate the thoughtful NA drink to its proper place on the cocktail table, not the inner form of cocktails you actually crave, but a new category of drinks that are incredibly delicious and desirable. .
As with other Crossroads vendors, customers can order drinks from The Counter and sip anywhere in the eastern food hall (2238 N. Farwell Ave.).
But customers can also reserve four stools at The Counter and book a tasting of all three, five, or nine drinks on the menu, said owner Ryan Castelaz. The counter, he said, will only serve the 10th drink to customers who have ticked all nine drinks on their counter punch card.
The first menu in development, called “Myths and Fables,” recalls Aesop’s Fables and Greco-Roman mythology “through making, serving and smelling,” Castellaz said.
Like coffee and tea at Discourse, NA cocktails are driven by stories, Castelaz said, and Discourse customers will feel at home with the style of the drink.
“They’re going to feel right at home with this menu,” Castellaz said, adding that he’s been wanting to be able to serve drinks without a coffee or tea base for years. “Away from the coffee and tea space, you are free to be your own,” he added.
He and The Counter’s general manager, Zoe Lomenzo, who has a background in bartending, took classes in herbalism and eventually incorporated herbs into their drinks to create the feeling of euphoria and relaxation that alcoholic beverages bring. can be reproduced.
Prices are around $11-$14 per drink. “There will be a lot of really fun and really novel ingredients,” Castellaz said.
“We want to be one of the best cocktail bars in Milwaukee, and we don’t think the alcohol shortage shouldn’t stop us from doing that,” said Castelaz. .
“I think the NA bar needs more as a city and as a culture, and I’m excited to do something that makes an impact,” he added.
Intermittent drinking with exercise, such as Dry January and Dry July, is popular and growing in popularity with millennials and Gen Zers.
The rise of zero-proof or low-proof beverages containing distilled “spirits” reflects that growing interest, and a book on the subject in the past year or so by award-winning bartenders includes Derek Brown’s Includes “Mindful Mixology”. “Drink Lightly: Lightening Up Serious Cocktails” by Natasha David.
In other discourse news, Castelaz and his partners Olivia Molter and Sean Liu want to open a patio in the downtown cafe at 1020 North Broadway in the summer. In preparation, Discourse is applying for a liquor license to serve light summer beverages such as beer, wine and spritz.