Now Open: Analogue Bar from Violet Hour Vets

By Sarah Freeman  |  December 12, 2013
Credit: Nick Murway

For all of the great things that innovative The Violet Hour is, there is one thing that sometimes works against it: it’s stuffy. The chic cocktail den, located behind an unmarked door, shakes up some of the city's best drinks - for those willing to put on their fancy clothes and wait in line for a table. So when Henry Prendergast and Robert F. Haynes (both formerly of The Violet Hour) decided to step away from the velvet curtains and $13 cocktails, they vowed that their new bar would lose the pretense without sacrificing quality cocktails. Welcome to Analogue.

2523 N. Milwaukee Ave.; 702-241-2447

  • Credit: Nick Murway

    The Drinks

    The three-pronged menu is divided between traditional cocktails, purls - an English beverage that dates back to the 17th century, made by combining beers with a bittering agent - and a daily shot that often resembles a cocktail (the opening shot is an old fashioned taken by licking demerara sugar off your hand, shooting whiskey and Angostura and then biting into an orange). The cocktail menu is where Prendergast's and Haynes' years of experience shine. Called “With Friends Like These,” the menu showcases Midwestern spirit producers. Think New Holland Freshwater Huron Rum made in Michigan, R. Franklin’s Malört named after Haynes as well as the first batch of Letherbee Fernet. The menu is purposefully small so it can be tweaked according to whichever new spirits or drinks catch the bartenders’ attention.

  • Credit: Nick Murway

    The Food

    “I think people are going to be really surprised,” Haynes said about the menu prepared by chef Alfredo Nogueira (Flipside Cafe and Rootstock). Nogueira is a New Orleans native and the southern influence is very much present in his lineup of dishes. Rich fare designed to complement the craft cocktails includes gumbo made with local chicken and house Andouille with potato salad; a local greens salad topped with feta, herbs and Creole mustard; and a side of flaky buttermilk biscuits with pepper jelly and Steen’s cane syrup butter. Larger dishes range from roast beef and ham po’ boys to fried lake perch with fries, toast, pickles and tartar sauce. Mirroring the beverage program, which features as many housemade or locally made products as possible, the kitchen prepares its own condiments, headcheese, chowchow and more.

  • Credit: Nick Murway

    The Decor

    The intimate space is minimalist-chic meets a bit of 80's rock; exposed brick, gray and teal graphic elements along with circular mirrors on the back bar are the key design elements. The 50-seat space is divided between the long bar on one wall and two tops on the other. The front-of-bar high-tops can be removed to make room for dancing after the kitchen closes at 11 PM, the back houses a booth that seats up to eight people and there's a DJ booth above the bar's entrance. Overall, it's more about what is happening inside of the bar than what it looks like. “You can dance, mingle or make out by the back bathroom,” Haynes said. After six years at The Violet Hour, he’s more than ready to ditch the pretense and welcome industry folks, artists and cocktail snobs alike. “Anyone who knows us will walk in and say, ‘Oh, obviously.’”