MercBar: A Classic Redux
Hey, remember MercBar? Of course you do. It’s part of our DNA as residents of PHX. In an age of “concepts” and “gastropubs” and “cocktail culture,” Merc remains, at its core, “just a bar.” It’s open 365 days a week, it’s dark, it’s sexy, it’s just a good room for drinkin’.
But like any place that’s been open forever, you’ve gotta adapt a little. A couple years back, Merc added small noshing plates so customers had reason to stick around and order another ‘round. That worked. Then they expanded their cocktail list to over 30 drinks and went big with the reserve wine list. That worked, too. Not “worked” as in made it some sudden hotspot, “worked” as in kept in your list of places to hit up on occasion.
So now it’s time for another round of small tweaks. That huge cocktail list has been edited down to about a dozen classics and half-a-dozen Merc-specific creations. The food menu now includes a couple more items. And the reserve wine list has been ditched for more affordable by-the-glass options.
Some wines are only $8 by the glass, including Benvolio Pinot Grigio, Terrazas “Altos del Plata” Malbec, and Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc.
About a dozen classic cocktails like a Manhattan, Sidecar, or French 75 are $12 each. Meanwhile, for $1 more, you can select from a really sweet list of more custom creations – like the Fernet’n Good Time (Black Grouse Scotch, Fernet Branca, Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur, Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouthm, Lemon Peel), Not Your Normal G&T (Siete Leguas, Tomatillo, Grapefruit Syrup, Salers Gentian Liqueur, Lime, Grapefruit Peel), or Merc-Y Waters (Clement VSOP Agricole Rum, Mt. Gay Black Barrel Rum, Orgeat, Cinnamon Syrup, Orange, Lime, Angostura Bitters).
But new on the $12 classic cocktail menu is a Hochstadter’s Slow & Low “Old Fashioned” on tap. Yep, Old Fashioned on tap! GM Adam Hargett says, “people are quick to dismiss it until they try it and see how good it actually is.”
Sounds good to us. You know what else sounds good? There’s now a warm Bavarian pretzel (with stone ground mustard) on the menu along with the classic Merc Meatballs, salami and cheese board, and other easy-going nosh like hummus.
Also new: Merc’s “Social Hour” Menu from 4-7pm Mon-Friday. All well drinks are $5, as are select wines and beers. About a dozen of the cocktails are only $8, and snacks are reduced, too: $2 bowls of olives, $2 meatballs, $5 hummus, and $5 pretzels. And on Sundays and Wednesdays, 9pm-12am, there’s acoustic and jazz artists performing live.
So to make a long story short – the place is still classic, only now with cheaper wine and live jazz. Check it out soon!
2525 E. Camelback Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85016