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Mace

Mace

505 East 12th Street
New York, NY 10009
212 673 1190
macenewyork.com
Hours:
M-F 5pm-2am; Sa-Su 4pm-2am

The concept for Mace, which has been consistent from the original location on 9th Street to the new one on 12th, is centered on the travels of Greg Boehm and the acclaimed cocktail bar’s other owners. When Manhattan Sideways first interviewed Boehm about Mace, he explained that travel is essential to the experience of working in the cocktail business and staying on the cutting edge. He associated his global voyages – notably in India and Madagascar – with the spice market: “Spices are intrinsically international,” he told us, pointing out that many of Mace’s decorations are spice jars that he has collected from his explorations over the years. Cleverly, as authentic wholesale spice markets can be difficult to find as a tourist, Greg discovered many spice retailers around the world by asking locals, “If your uncle owned a spice shop, where would it be?”

Still as “spice-driven” as it was in 2012 when Manhattan Sideways first visited the bar, Mace continues to be steadfastly dedicated to bringing flavors from every corner of the earth into one central East Village locale. Yet despite such great ambitions, the bar is described humbly by general manager Wayne Frank as “laid-back” – even as its numerous accolades continue to laud it as one of the best cocktail bars not only in New York, but in the world. Multiple publications, including Time Out, The New York Times, Eater, and the Michelin Guide, have included Mace in rankings and articles, but for Frank, Boehm, and the head bartender Nico de Soto, it is important to let the drinks speak for themselves.

“Cocktail brainiac” Greg Boehm became interested in the industry through the related books released by his family’s publishing company, while De Soto’s investment in bartending is fed by his globetrotting adventures and acquired hunger for rare and under-appreciated ingredients. De Soto had experience bartending in multiple cities across the world by the time he met Boehm at the Experimental Cocktail Club in Paris, where the two men built a lasting connection. Both “brilliant” in the eyes of their manager Frank, the two have collaborated with Jeannette Kaczorowski, the interior designer of Mace and the Cabinet, and Nick Sorrentino, the current culinary director, to upgrade Mace’s physical environment. In its location on 12th Street, Mace is able to host large parties and provide a full menu from its kitchen, all while preserving the perspectives and practices that so distinguished its original 9th Street location.

Sorrentino’s food menu is no less globally-inspired than the bar’s cocktails, with dishes ranging from the Iberian style Patatas Bravas to their New Delhi spiced olives. At the time of our interview, the menu also featured Smoked Duck Wings and Island BBQ Ribs. Both the food and cocktail menus rotate seasonally, with the popular “Miracle Menu” making its appearance during the winter holidays, and recently a “Best of 5 Years” menu that highlighted some of the bar’s most well-loved cocktails from past seasons. But regardless of the season, Mace’s menus always reflect the curious, creative energies of De Soto, whose unusual, edgy ingredients include ants, essence of tobacco, cashew fruit – and yes, mace.

In its beautiful new space, Mace continues to bolster the global relevance of New York’s cocktail scene by effortlessly translating the city’s one-of-a-kind eclecticism into its menus; a trip to Mace is a trip around the world.