Caroline Street is about to get a little boozier—with a splash of affordability. Kelsey Whalen, who currently co-owns the popular vegan/health food restaurant Whole Harvest on Broadway in Saratoga Springs, is set to co-open a brand-new cocktail bar, Lucy’s, in the former Whole Harvest location at 5 Caroline Street, with business partners Zach VanEarden and Lucy Macias.
The bar, which has been in the works since March and was originally targeted to open this past June, just before the start of track season, will finally be getting its grand opening on Wednesday, September 22, following a private event for family and friends tonight. “We’ve been ready [to open] since July 1,” says Whalen, “but the [State] Liquor Authority took a really long time.” That said, Whalen and her partners aren’t really that bummed to have missed the summer throngs. “Honestly, we’re all OK with missing track season, because we want a local base,” she says. “Our goal is to be a local spot where you can get an affordable drink.”
Whalen sees the drinks’ price-point as the key to the bar’s success, in a town where New York City (or ballpark) prices tend to prevail. To that end, all drinks, whether they be cocktails, beer or wine, will ring in at a maximum of $10 a pop. Cocktails, of which there will be 10 on the bar’s opening-day menu, include the French Dispatch (Empress Gin, Chartreuse, St. Germain, fresh lemon juice and a lemon twist); Mister Brownstone (rye whiskey, cardamom infused maple syrup, fresh lemon and an orange twist), which name-checks the Guns N’ Roses tune; Hibiscus Highball (hibiscus tea, pineapple juice, vodka, fresh lime, muddled cucumber, St. Germain and a splash of club soda); and Perfect Pear (Blanco tequila, St. Germain, pear juice, fresh lime, ginger juice and rosemary).
All of the cocktail recipes come courtesy of lead mixologist Kevin Kerby, who will be slinging drinks every day of the week.
The bar will also feature two “house” staples—”The Lucy” (one shot of vodka, tequila or whiskey; and one Corona, PBR or Miller Light; it costs $8) and “The Walking Taco” (Doritos or Fritos, chili, sour cream and cheese, with both gluten-free and vegan options; $5, plus an extra deuce for guacamole and $0.50 for jalapeños). If you’re wondering, the latter is the lone food item on the menu—though nobody’s keeping you from trudging up the street and grabbing a grain bowl or wrap at Whole Harvest. Customers can also order a glass of wine for $10 or beer, at a range of prices, but all under $10.
In a possible first for Saratoga, the bar will be a women- and veteran-owned business, with co-owner Zach VanEarden, a military vet who also owns VanEarden Brothers painting; and Lucy Macias, who is the bar’s titular “Lucy,” equally sharing the ownership role with Whalen.
Lucy’s, which comfortably seats up to 22 people, will be open Monday-Sunday from 5pm to close.