Saloon: Get in on the secret

Visit Saloon at 255 Elm St. in Somerville. For details, call 617-628-4444 or visit www.saloondavis.com

There are two ways for a bar to attract a lot of attention: Either be the new kid on the block, or hang around long enough that you build of a sense of history that’s hard to ignore. A bar that can pull of both simultaneously is a rarity, but Saloon, the offshoot of the popular Foundry On Elm in Davis Square, might have stumbled across the formula.

One of the most handsome barrooms to open in recent memory, the pre-Prohibition New York City saloon concept manages to seem both novel and lived-in at once.

“A lot of places that open look brand new,” bar manager Dennis Cargill says. “With the dark woods and leather, you would almost swear the place has been there for a long time. People ask a lot if this place was really an old speakeasy.”

Part of achieving that feel was resurrecting furniture and fixtures from actual historic restaurants and borrowing some of their aura. Couple that with waitresses decked out in turn-of-the-century, flapper-style uniforms; hearty meats and cheeses served on wooden blocks; and a truly old-timey cocktail program that looks, Janus-like, both backward and forward at once. Altogether, it makes for a bar experience outside of the predictable.

“It reminds people of a bygone era,” says Cargill. “It’s like escaping from the real world and visiting a place from the past.”

Drink this

It’s not just the decor that adds to Saloon’s aura: It’s what’s being served — and what those liquids are served in as well. The Claret Punch, made with brandy, Yellow Chartreuse, red wine, lemon, honey and soda water is served in actual 12 oz. flasks.  “Once people see someone drinking out of a flask, the next table will order one,” says Cargill.

Little touches like that go a long way toward setting Saloon apart; likewise do the housemade drams. The Southie Comfort is made with rye, brandy, citrus rinds, toasted almonds or peach pits, honey, sugar and Jerry Thomas bitters. “It tastes like Southern Comfort, but it’s much more lean,” Cargill says.

Saloon selective

Location, location, location
Also adding to the attraction of Saloon: being stashed away in the basement of Foundry with an unmarked entrance. People like feeling like they’re in on a secret.

“If you’re just walking down the street looking for it, you don’t even know it’s there,” says Cargill. “But you hear about it, and you look for it, and it’s part of that thing of trying to find something that you can’t.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Police seek mother of slain 11-year-old on involuntary…

Police are seeking the mother of an 11-year-old girl who was accidentally shot to death by her 2-year-old brother two weeks ago on involuntary manslaughter…

Local

Chestnut Hill College student found dead Wednesday morning

A 22-year-0ld Chestnut Hill College student was found dead this morning inside a college dormitory, police said.

International

Nearly 300 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years.

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

Books

Becoming friends with New York City's oldest known…

"The Life and Times of Richard Musto" tells the story, through a poem, of the oldest known homeless man in New York City.

Going Out

Get down and dirty at these neighborhood dives

Philly's got its share of innovative gastropubs and seen-and-be-seen drinking establishments with inventive cocktails served in mason jars. But sometimes we just want a shot…

Movies

Interview: Johnny Depp says he looks like himself,…

Johnny Depp talks about his new sci-fi thriller "Transcendence," not wearing gaudy makeup and wigs for a change and how he's a bit of a Luddite.

Movies

Review: 'Heaven is for Real' tries to be…

The mega-bestseller "Heaven is for Real" becomes a movie that tries to portray wrestling with faith — or at least it tries to try.

NHL

Top 5 Philadelphia storylines for Flyers-Rangers

The slate is clean for the Flyers and the Rangers. Which is good news for the Flyers.

U.S. Soccer

Andrew Wenger has big shoes to fill on…

Lancaster County native Andrew Wenger will feel pressure to fill the shoes of departer forward Jack McInerney.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

NBA

Sixers, Michael Carter-Williams give fans a happy ending…

The 2013-14 season for the 76ers has nearly come to a close.

Wellbeing

Cognitive skills begin to drop at age 24

But the news isn't all that bad.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.

Career

How to get a job at a startup:…

We talked to Tarek Pertew, one of the co-founders behind Uncubed, about how to get your dream job at a startup.

Parenting

The 'smartest' summer camps across the country

See a list of summer camps across the country that emphasis learning, while still being fun.