In Dunedin, you can’t walk a block without running into a brewery. Which, by the way, no one is complaining about. Just last month, a new bar opened and gave residents an upscale place to get tipsy — it’s called Sonder Social Club, and it’s located at 966 Douglas Ave.
The Feinstein Group, comprised of husband-and-wife duo Zachary and Christina Feinstein, which has been properly feeding Dunedin locals with concepts including The Black Pearl and The Living Room On Main, has decided to bring the town its very craft cocktail bar.
The pair is adamant about adventures abroad and makes sure to squeeze every drop out of each trip away from home; and that means hunting down the best spots at every destination. Drawing inspiration from elevated joints around the nation (ie: Employees Only in New York) and Christina’s obsession with the AMC award-winning series Mad Men, the couple decided it was time to bring such a concept to Dunedin.
“We wanted to bring back the norm of people going to bars to socialize,” Christina explains. Cue Don Draper at the bar with an Old Fashioned in one hand and cigar in the other.
“That’s why the seating is shared, to invite people to rub elbows with strangers and strike up conversations,” Zachary adds.
The decor echoes those midcentury values thanks to deep blues with black and gold accents and framed photos of authors decorating the walls. Taking it up a notch in class and novelty, Sonder’s restrooms are disguised with bookshelves; a move inspired by a Denver, Colorado bar called the Roosevelt.
“We didn’t want to put so much thought into the design and then have random bathroom doors in the back of the bar,” Christina says. This is some Harry Potter shit. Details like the bookshelf trickle from the decor to the food and drink offerings; shortcuts are nowhere to be found.
Hailing from Tampa’s Hotel Bar, mixologists Danny Guess and Amanda Caulk curated the cocktail menu packed with tropical (not tiki) drinks for Sonder. One of the concoctions is “Sky Miles,” which is crafted with Sonder Milk, a signature creation by Guess who was on a flight when he had an epiphany to use milk after it has been infused with Golden Grahams (the drink can also be ordered as a mocktail).
Christina, who was pregnant when I interviewed her, was keen on making sure guests had a mocktail menu to choose from whether they were abstaining from booze or just wanted to try something different.
“If you can’t or don’t want to drink, that doesn’t mean you have to feel left out. You can still have something pretty to sip on,” she says.The food menu was crafted by Chris Artrip who took a modern approach to midcentury staples like Beef Wellington. Guests can also snag juicy short rib bao buns or share a cauliflower pizza.
Just a heads up, Sonder doesn’t have Wi-Fi, and the Feinsteins don’t feel too guilty about it either. Time to unplug and get connected with your community while having a handcrafted cocktail (or two).
Hours for the craft cocktail concept are Sunday through Thursday 4 p.m.-midnight, Friday and Saturday 4 p.m.-2 a.m.
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