Pagan Idol may be the most fun opening yet from the prolific Future Bars team (Bourbon & Branch, Rickhouse, Local Edition, Tradition and so on). It’s run by managers Justin D’Olier and Daniel Parks. The Captain’s Quarters is the hull-of-a-ship front bar, and the back bar faces a faux beach with an active volcano and sparkling, starry sky glowing over thatched huts, ideal for cozy groups of friends. The bartenders build a mean Mai Tai Float with three kinds of rum (Jamaican, Venezuelan and a Martinique agricole).
THE DRINK TO DRINK: A dusting of li hing mui (salted plum) on a tart-floral passion fruit whip makes the Bird of Paradise soar. The creamy dream of a cocktail features a cachaça and reposado tequila base, balanced by lemon, vanilla and sea salt.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: Tropical tunes, like the great Esquivel! or Yma Sumac, keep the vibe kitschy and festive. The changing boozy slushies in the slushie machine are surprisingly balanced—they’re not too sweet.