The long-awaited new venture of the brothers Brown is set to open this Thursday. Yes, The Passenger is ready for embarkation on 7th Street, in the old bar space of the Warehouse Theater complex. It sounds rather rock-n-roll to me, with Tom Brown (formerly of Cork) slinging up made-to-taste cocktails, including seasonal pitchers, along with what will no doubt be a phenom wine list and beer – canned or draft.
Derek Brown’s internal combustion engine, the Columbia Room, won’t open til early 2010 – this is a smaller bar-inside-a-bar modeled after tiny Japanese bars with high personal interaction between bartender and guest.
Back over the summer, purely by chance, I ended up sitting next to their concept meeting outside at Room 11 and really struggled with writing about anything I’d heard that evening. I could’ve started a whole slew of rumors about what Tom and Derek were planning, but honestly, they don’t need the buzz, already being cocktail legends with a loyal following in the city.
Bottom line? I think it’s fantastic the two brothers are finally getting to work together, highlighting their different styles in one place. You can expect a funky interior that still stays true to the surrounding historic architecture, complete with a “dining car” in the back, but nothing incredibly high-end or elaborate – there’s a dedication to building a low-key neighborhood bar feel as well. Will it become a total scene because everyone and their mother wants a hand-crafted cocktail from these guys now? Will this finally revitalize that rather raggedy stretch of street? We’ll find out.