Jac’s on Bond
Bond Street’s newest hipster mecca is the kind of hotspot Cousin Greg would approve of. (No surprise, since Succession actor Nicholas Braun is an investor.)
Jac’s on Bond’s mission is to be the neighborhood bar where creative thinkers can drop in for conversation, cocktails, a bite or two—and perhaps a game of pool. For the time being, its white hot status necessitates the uncool act of planning ahead, as reservations are scarce. (A party of two were told while walking in without one, “Come back in 45 minutes, but I’m not promising anything.”)
From Authentic Hospitality, the team behind Rockefeller Center’s celebrity hang Pebble Bar and Ray’s, and with investors that include Nicholas Braun—better known as Cousin Greg from Succession—Jac’s is currently a magnet for beanie-wearing hipsters and stylish girls on the hunt for the Next Big Thing. If you think it’s too dark and too loud, you’re too old.
Located in an 1831 townhouse, Jac’s is named for the late Jack Champlin, “the Mayor of Bond Street,” and a regular at The Smile, the site’s previous incarnation. A fashion illustrator (and later in life, the neighborhood’s favorite stoner/dog walker), Champlin lived on the second floor for over 50 years, in an apartment that was the scene for one of Andy Warhol’s first experimental films, Rollerskate/Dance Movie, filmed in 1963.
Jac’s marble-topped dark wood bar, simple elegant furnishings, and cream colored walls with photographs by local resident Janette Beckman gives the space a chill, calm vibe. The narrow layout puts the more boisterous bar area in the front, with a quieter back pool room furnished with tables and booths. I asked the waiter if the party of six unusually happy twenty-somethings crowded into a nearby booth was celebrating something. “No, it’s business,” he replied, which made me think they sound like a fun company to work for. I wonder if they’re hiring.
The menu features specialty cocktails, designed by head bartender Trevor Langer. These include the Beets Me, a very beet-forward (perhaps too forward?) vodka concoction with yogurt, dill and pistachios, and the currently popular Killing ’Em Softly, with Patron tequila, Amontillado sherry, strawberry, lemon and basil eau de vie. The food, small bites and snacks, fare better, and the traditional cocktails, better still. As they are designed by Jeremiah Stone and Fabian van Hauske, the partners behind Wildair and the Michelin starred Contra, perhaps this shouldn’t be a surprise. Standouts are the cold crab dip with excellent house-made potato chips, and the Jamon Serrano Bikini, a pressed ham and cheese sandwich with black olives and a chile-prune condiment. Just be careful not to smudge the beige felt on the pool table when you’re done.
Hero photo by William Jess Laird