As Stan Getz’s bossa nova period drifts out of the speakers overhead, Go Bar bartender Tom is enjoying the calm before the storm this Saturday night. It’s a few minutes after the club, located at 195 Prince Street, has opened its doors. This is when Vanessa Briscoe Hay and her musician husband Bob Hay usually sneak in for a Cosmopolitan.
It’s the best Cosmopolitan in town,” she explains as Tom chills a martini glass. “There’s technique involved but also a little magic.”
Hay has been coming here since before the address transformed from the Go Clothing boutique to Go Bar in 2000. The clothing shop helped to supply the wardrobe for the singer and her Pylon bandmates when they opened for The B-52’s on the band’s 1989 “Cosmic Thing” tour. Recalls Hay: “They found some great outfits for me and they found the guys these amazing citrus-colored striped shirts.”
Both Hays have performed in the space, Vanessa with Supercluster and Bob with his Bob Hay & The Jolly Beggars project, celebrating the work of Robert Burns.
Says Vanessa: “I had my 50th birthday party here. [Apples In Stereo singer-guitarist and Elephant 6 record producer] Robert Schneider had a solo project out at the time and he played for my party. But he decided that wasn’t enough. So he called up the members of Olivia Tremor Control and brought them all down and they played acoustic sets. I don’t think some of the nurses I worked with even knew who Olivia Tremor Control was. They thought it was totally wild! This is one of our favorite places to come to. The bands are great, they have wonderful DJs and they have [indie rock] karaoke every Thursday. Plus, people dance here!”
The Go Bar Cosmopolitan
2 parts Tito’s Handmade Vodka
1 part Triple Sec orange liqueur
1 squeeze lime juice
A dash or two of cranberry juice
Shake well and pour into a chilled martini glass and serve with a lemon garnish