Bar Odessa, the plush basement bar at David Tsireka’s Greek restaurant 1821, was inspired by the history of the Greek Revolution.
Chef and owner Tsirekas says 1821 symbolises the time when all the Greeks came together to claim their land, and that journey started in an Odessa basement.
So it’s appropriate that guests enter the venue through a nondescript black door from an alley behind the venue. The bar is at the bottom of a narrow, dimly lit staircase. Once inside, Bar Odessa promises luxury fit for a Tsar with an extravagant suite of caviar alongside other Black Sea indulgences: pates, oysters and smoked fish.
The 80-person lounge area was fitted out by Athens-based designer Dimitris Economou (the same designer who furnished upstairs). There’s red velour couches and heavy glassware, surrounded by paintings of Greek political heroes in gilt frames.
The room revolves around three lavish, high-backed booths. Each banquette comes with its own name and accompanying portrait paying tribute to a historical period. Guests can reserve “Ivan the Terrible”, “Catherine the Great” and “Bouboulina,” (named for Laskarina Bouboulina, the heroine of Greek Independence) for a minimum spend of $1000.
The cocktail menu’s Hellenic offerings include the Greek Spritz with Metaxa, Plymouth sloe gin, Luxardo maraschino liqueur, fig jam and champagne; and the Ouzotini, which mixes ouzo with mint-infused vodka, peach schnapps and lime. Beluga vodka stars in many of the other cocktails, including the Beluga Mule (Beluga vodka, ginger beer, lime, mint) and the Beluga Berry Nice (Beluga vodka, citrus-infused vodka, crème de cassis and mixed berries). Shelves behind the bar hold an extensive range of vodkas, ouzos and rakis.