At Hartford's new Republic at the Linden, which opened in August, the restaurant's attractive bar in the city's historic building has been booming early. The same happened when Republic's first location launched in Bloomfield in 2012, said co-owner Jared Cohen.
Part of the appeal? Specialty cocktails ($9 to $11) with unique flavor profiles: mezcal with grilled cherries and thyme, nectarine vodka with
Aperol and lavender lemonade; a gin fizz with honey and sage. Drinks
are artfully presented: a vibrant edible flower garnishes the cachaca-based Goiaba Bahia with Cocchi Americano, guava puree and sherry, another bloom, frozen in an oversized ice cube, brightens the Stormy Morning, with prosecco, liqueur de violette, St. Germain and lime.
"We spent a lot of time on the cocktail list," Cohen said. "I wanted to get a couple things on there that I'd never seen at all, that were just out of thin air, but then I wanted to take a couple of cocktails and twist them a little bit."
Republic's "smoked bourbon and charcuterie" is a feature for those looking to savor a snack alongside their brown liquor. The presentation arrives with local cheese and smoked meat, with a choice of Widow Jane rye ($16) or 10-year ($20) served in a glass infused with smoke from burning hickory wood chips.
Like its Bloomfield counterpart, Republic at the Linden focuses on craft beer, with 18 available on draft (many from Connecticut-based breweries). Happy hour, running Monday through Friday from 3:30 to 6 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. on Sundays, offers specials on wine, beer, cocktails and snacks.
Republic, 10 Capitol Ave., Hartford, is open Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Bar is open later. 860-310-3269, republicct.com.