Last week, together with Lou Bustamonte of the SF Weekly and Virginia Miller of the SF Bay Guardian, I took a tour of four bars in the East Bay. One of those stops was to The New Easy.
The bar was formerly known as The Easy Lounge and was recently renovated and just opened after the new year.
The space is one long room with very high ceilings. Along one side is the copper top bar then an open kitchen space further down.
Along the other side is some seating and a set of picnic-like tables and chairs. There is also a small outdoor patio in the way back.
The ceilings have skylights and they're having chandeliers built to hang beneath them that will hold herbs growing on the top. They'll be able to lower the chandeliers down to snip off some produce each day. Very cool idea.
The bar will open at 2PM on Saturdays as that's the local farmer's market, the Grand Lake Farmer's Market. They'll try to lure in the post-market crowds and also use market ingredients in their cocktails.
Speaking of cocktails, we tried a bunch. The menu is split into three sections: Stirred & Spirituous, Winter Farmers Market, and Adult Soda Fountain.
My favorite cocktails included the Mad Hatter, made with Sailor Jerry Rum, golden raisin puree, carrot juice, and ginger soda. It was garnished with rabbit ear carrots.
I also liked the Gift horse (old Tom gin, Dolin blanc vermouth, and house made "winter bitters") and the Love Spell (bourbon, apricot liqueur, house "fruitcake bitters").
The kitchen was still under construction on my visit, but as of now they are also serving food.
The New Easy facebook page is here.