gallery bar drinksGallery Bar 1930 is upscale by design.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

Gallery Bar 1930 recently opened in Gallery 1930 art studio in Mountain Brook’s English Village, along side its sister restaurant, Vino.

Restaurateur, Al Rabiee and son Matthew, Bar Manager of Vino and Gallery Bar 1930 greet us at the front door. Inside original art adorns the walls, not televisions. Nor will you find beers on tap, or folks hoping to hook up at this bar. Gallery Bar 1930 is an upscale cocktail and oyster bar, for sophisticated palates with proper manners. Entering the front doors the bar is to the right and a lounge area is to the left. Designed by Richard Tubb, the space opens to Vino's famous patio with sliding doors in the lounge area. Tubb also designed the wicker furnishings that are manufactured in Mobile, Alabama, which further the indoor-outdoor ambiance. And the back area of the venue can be roped off for private events. The space can seat 60 people for a seated dinner.

Cocktail consultant, Feizal Valli trained the staff and helped stock the bar with the best spirits. As we look over the drink list, Matthew inquires what we like and then steers us to drinks with those flavor profiles. The menu incudes specialty cocktails, grower Champagnes, and a variety of oysters from the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Vino’s dinner menu is also available for ordering and service here. Tonight we taste five among the specialty cocktail list: The Regan Year’s, Season of the Witch, Mississippi Mongoose, Pimm’s Cup, and The Woodsman. The Regan Year’s is a drink I do not want to miss since I do indeed miss those years. This drink is orange in color and is served in a lowball glass, on the big rock. It is a citrusy mix of bourbon, green chartreuse, aperol, Regan’s Orange Bitters and orange zest. Another tasty orange sipper is the Season of the Witch, which is served in a martini glass and integrates Bombay Gin, cappalletti, Liquer Strega, and lemon zest. For those who prefer a touch of sweet, the Mississippi Mongoose is made of Cathead Honeysuckle Vodka, Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, organic lemon local honey, and bitters. Organic egg whites add a delicate, frothy topping. A classic Pimm’s Cup pleases with Pimms, lemon, simple syrup, lemon soda, mint and a cucumber slice wrapped inside the glass as a garnish. And for this lady, The Woodsman is my favorite of the evening. Lovely, deep layers of Bulleit Rye, Domain de Canton Ginger Liqueur, lemon, and maple make a marvelous mix. It is garnished with fresh rosemary, which lends its aromas but does not flavor the cocktail. And as our final sip, we toast Gallery Bar 1930’s opening with a taste of Pouillon Brut, NV, a lovely hand crafted grower Champagne. We will be back soon. This is our kind of place. 

 Published, B-Metro magazine, February 2016