At Daniel Rivera’s newest downtown venture The Reservoir, the feeling of untapped potential is palpable. Though the bar itself may be challenging to get to, owing to a lack of accessible parking downtown and the space itself is gorgeous. Beautiful exposed brick lines the back of the interior, while expansive cabinetry houses the bar’s liquor selection on the northernmost side of the bar. On the southernmost face (to your right upon entry), you’ll realize why you can’t find a menu anywhere. Calligraphed on the wall and split into four sections — cocktails, mules, shots, and martinis – is the drink selection. Inventive titles such as the Italian Surfer and Scarlet Kiss are penned in different font types, the size and type of the lettering providing the drinker an idea of the character of each beverage.
Take one of the bar’s riffs on a Moscow Mule, for instance. The Tennessee Mule ($7), a combination of whiskey, ginger beer, and lime, was as sophisticated as the slinky cursive the titled was penned in. Served in the requisite copper mug, any of The Reservoir’s mules is a foolproof choice.
If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, check out the other cocktails. Rivera has made a habit of remixing popular drinks, often adding a sweet element to an otherwise savory cocktail. Nowhere is the appeal of such a combination more apparent than the Mango Moores Rita ($9), an evocative mixed drink made from Sauza tequila, triple sec, mango juice, habanero hot sauce, and lime, garnished with a Vero Mango lollipop for a hint of acidity.
The Reservoir also has a handful of beers on tap, including craft selections like Goose Island IPA and St. Arnold’s. During happy hour, which runs from 4-8 p.m. daily, Miller and Coors Lite are $2, Bud Light is $3, and Dos Equis is $3.50. You can also grab $5 Moscow Mules and Texas Teas, or stick to their slightly more expensive off-the-board drinks.
There is no food, but the bar has plenty of dartboards, jukeboxes and televisions if you need something to distract you from your hunger. Expect mostly service industry, downtown dwellers and tourists, as the location is somewhat prohibitive to casual visitors. Though the bar was empty for the majority of my visit, it has reason to be optimistic. The service was attentive and friendly, the interior is gorgeous, and when you see their liquor collection, you’re going to want to try it.
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