There are mirrors everywhere. And where there aren’t mirrors, the surfaces are shiny and reflective. You can literally see yourself drinking at the Commodore, and with this kind of atmosphere, that’s a treat in itself.
The Commodore Bar and Restaurant reopens to the public today, after some thirty years as a private events space. And if you want to party like it’s 1939, then this Cathedral Hill hideaway has all the crown molding, art deco sconces, and throwback cocktails you can handle.
The bar program is run by Christa Robinson, and her Commodore cocktail is an ideal nightcap. 45th Parallel Border Bourbon mixed with creme de cacao and Tattersall Sour Cherry—it’s like a boozy chocolate cherry in the best way.
Her sidecar is also worth a look, made with Cedar Ridge Apple Brandy and 5 Spirits Lemon Ginger. She’s highlighting spirits from 16 local distilleries—a nice mix of in-state and a few standouts from Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois.
There’s no tap beer, because it’s kind of tough to build a keg fridge in a historic building. They do have a fine bottle and can list, so expect your Referent Horseradish Vodka bloody Mary to come backed by a full can of Hamm’s.
Other staff of note: Front-of-house guru Lorin Zinter is on board to mold the service staff. The kitchen is under the direction of Chris Gerster, most recently executive chef at the University Club.
The Commodore will be open Tuesday through Saturday, 4pm-midnight, at 79 Western Avenue in St. Paul.