October 6, 2014

New Hayloft Bar Will Open for ‘Mature’ Crowd

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By ANDREW LEE

The Hayloft Bar, a new establishment located above the Carriage House Café, will hold its grand opening Saturday night.

The Hayloft is looking to attract a more “mature” crowd, according to Alexis Abb, assistant event manager at the Carriage House Café.

“We’re trying to do our own thing. I’m always looking for somewhere to go after work to go hangout and talk,” Abb said. “Like everyone else, I love to dance, but I don’t always want to go downtown.”

Abb said the management of the cafe decided to open the bar — which will be open a few nights every month — primarily to complement the music shows and other events it hosts during the year.

“Whenever there’s a show, we’ll have the bar open to the public,” Abb said. “We also have a full bar for people to enjoy during weddings, graduation parties and other similar events.”

The management of the cafe had been planning to expand by opening a bar and offering liquor in addition to its pre-existing selection of beers and wine, according to Abb.

“Before I started working at the Carriage House in February, they already had a beer and wine license,” Abb said. “We’ve been doing this for so long, and we decided to take the business to the next level. ”

The Hayloft Bar will focus on specialty cocktails that use fresh ingredients sourced directly from local farms, according to Abb.

“We are consulting with Roland Coggins, the head bartender at Lot 10 [Bar and Lounge in Downtown Ithaca],” Abb said. “We brought him on board as a bar consultant, and he helped create specialty cocktails that are exclusive to the Carriage House.”

Abb also said that she began working on the liquor application in February while she was waitressing for the Carriage House Café.

“I’ve never applied for a liquor license before, and it’s a lot different than a beer and wine,” Abb said. “We had to submit around fifty pages of paperwork in addition to pictures of the space.”

While Abb said the bar will have limited operating hours, she also mentioned that the management would look to have longer hours if the initial trial period went well.

“This is our first tryout so we want to see how everything goes,” she said. “So if things go well, we want to have a pop-up bar, and as we get more popular, maybe we’ll be open longer.”

Cornell students have expressed mixed interest in the Hayloft Bar’s opening.

Alice Anichkin ’16 said she believes the Hayloft Bar “seem[s] very sophisticated.”

“While I’d really enjoy this kind of atmosphere, I feel like it’s not what people are really looking for on the weekend,” she said.

Nina Gershonowitz ’16, however, said the Hayloft Bar would add a “really nice ambience to Stewart Avenue.”

“There are a lot of bars in Ithaca, but the Hayloft seems like a nice place to chill during the weekends with your friends and listen to music,” she said.

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