Groovers and Shakers

Bar Smyth

David Rudduck. Photography Chris McKnight.
April 24, 2013

Take one part Ohio Players, a speakeasy atmosphere, some Hum Hibiscus liqueur and shag carpeting, then stir. The resulting concoction is Bar Smyth, the latest effort from Cedars Social’s Brian Williams and Michael Martensen. “We wanted to create a space that is intimate, comfortable and takes the feel of the neighborhood into consideration,” Williams says. “So we worked with Breckinridge Taylor Designs and, basically, made the bartender the focal point of the room.” All drinks are served spirit-forward, which means mixologists Martensen and Omar Yeefoon craft original recipes based on your booze of choice. (The more exotic cocktails are created on a daily basis and change regularly, depending on the ingredients you’re thirsting for.) Imbibe to the pulsing sound of vintage soul, funk and groove-oriented house tunes. “We’re playing what we like right now off the decks,” Williams explains. “But we’re about to go to vinyl because we have a whole library of records here in the building.” Smyth currently has seating for less than 50 people; that, coupled with the modern walnut bar, U-shaped booths and wood paneling, assures its cozy vibe. And stay tuned: The bar is next door to an in-the-works project for Williams and Martensen: The Establishment, a raw bar and restaurant. 4513 Travis, 214.520.0900;