Just two weeks ago, a news release issued by a spokesperson who works for Kent Rathbun's Abacus restaurant announced that Eddie Campbell, one of the city's best known and best traveled bartenders, had been hired to tend mix drinks there.
It looked like Campbell had finally found a place to hang that fedora. But just a few days later, D's Side Dish broke the news that Campbell was opening a new bar with a new partner. Parliament was to open in the coming weeks. And Campbell hoped to somehow stay on at Abacus.
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The new bar will occupy the old Four Lounge space on Allen Street, not far off McKinney Avenue. Campbell describes his vision for the bar as a "progressive cocktail lounge," echoing former owner Keith LaBonte's self-described style of mad-scientist drink-making. LaBonte passed away late last year, and was known for abstract cocktails featuring smoked ingredients and foams. Still, Campbell hopes to create what feels like a "neighborhood bar."
And don't picture a Chesterfield redux. "It's a little more European," Campbell said of the cocktails-only lounge. He listed details like fabric-draped walls, crystal chandeliers and an avant garde interior, and said the exterior should evoke a French sidewalk cafe.
Time to break out the Lillet? Campbell said he should be open in November.