There’s no dancefloor at Heartbreaker. But on any given Saturday night, you can expect a few to break out spontaneously. Especially in the corner next to the cherry-red neon “Heartbreaker” sign. If you arrive with enough friends to fill this section, it’s the next best thing to your own VIP area. Take control of the jukebox nearby – loaded with close to 100 rock albums from 1968 to 1980 – and the entire place may as well be yours.
The rowdy vibe is the antithesis of The Everleigh, owner Michael Madrusan’s first bar. Where that restrained, taxidermy-filled den is all about sophisticated cocktails served to your table, Heartbreaker is all about getting them over the bar quick smart.
There are four pre-batched cocktails to choose from: Negroni, Martini, Old Fashioned and Manhattan; or what Madrusan calls “the famous four”. They’re poured and garnished in about the time it takes to read this sentence.
The tap beer selection is small, but always interesting. Naturally, the elaborate timber back bar is also well stocked. Rare spirits and bottled cocktails are available to take home until 11pm.
At that hour, the bar’s neons glow invitingly through the slatted black windows, looking like some giant hearth. Once you’re inside, it’s the small details that count. The padded bar edge that invites you to linger and lean. The warmly lit burgundy pool table in the back room. And of course, that rocking jukebox.