The pandemic has done a lot to erase the stigma of pre-mixed tipples, but even before lockdown changed consumer habits, Wandering Barman was earning fans thanks to its tasty recipes and suave bottle design with artful labels that eschewed the less-than-sophisticated reputation of pre-fixed cocktails. Now, the beverage purveyor founded by Roxane Mollicchi, Darren Grenia, and Julian Mohamed is settling into its first permanent home—a cocktail “brewery” in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
The brand enlisted local firm Crosby Studios for the fantastical interior, which radiates contrasting hues of orange and pink that mimic the colors of Wandering Barman’s draft cocktails. A giant lightbox illuminates the bar area featuring a floral composition on one of the walls backlit by a zig-zag of orange LEDs. The color was new for Crosby Studios founder Harry Nuriev, who has become known for devising interiors marked by bold use of monochrome. “I wanted to work with a new color, orange,” he tells Surface. “It’s always a challenge to develop a new relationship with a color, especially ones that are so strong and vibrant.”
Visitors can order drinks while peeking through circular rose-tinted windows behind the bar directly into the brewery, where Wandering Barman develops, tastes, and manufactures its bottled cocktails. “I love to combine different surfaces, textures, and forms of lighting to create futuristic environments,” Nuriev says. “This is my sexy take on an industrial warehouse or factory, which are so common in the neighborhood.” Thanks to reconfigurable furniture, the cavernous 40-seat brasserie can transform from a tasting room to an open space for gatherings and events.
In addition to the fresh concept, Wandering Barman goes against the grain of its New York City peers by offering up a modestly priced menu. Purchasing ingredients at wholesale prices and pre-mixing in bulk helps keep prices down, meaning most of the drinks—including the FOMO, a vodka cocktail infused with green chiles, and the Boomerang, a smoky maple syrup old fashioned—won’t run you more than $11.