There’s a new bar on Main Street in Farmingdale and it’s hidden behind a wall with many knobs. So many knobs, in fact, that you might try a few before the real door gives way.
It’s one of a few speakeasy-esque details at Cork & Kerry, the third location of a gradually expanding craft-cocktail chainlet that has opened in the village.
“We saw a bunch of bars here and knew this was a good drinking town,” said beverage director Doug Brickel of the decision to set up shop on Main Street. (His partners are Chris Corbett and Darren Fenton). “We also knew we could stand out here because of the quality of our drinks and our service.”
As with earlier locations in Rockville Centre and Floral Park, C&K Farmingdale, as it is known, shares an under-the-radar visage (the storefront is unmarked), a dim, slightly surreal living-room vibe — with vintage wallpaper, chandeliers and lots of easy chairs — and a cocktail menu that draws on hundreds of spirits, syrups, herbs and bitters.
Unlike its sister locations, however, C&K Farmingdale also has a reservations-only policy, at least during busy prime hours, mostly on weekend nights. To land a seat here when the bar is full, patrons must reserve their tables via C&K Farmingdale’s Facebook or Instagram pages, or by leaving their name inside the front vestibule for a later callback, for parties of six or fewer.
Drinks are ordered via table service — the bar itself only has four seats — and made in a bar area that resembles a salad bar, with garnishes in metal tubs and syrups and infused spirits lined up in bottles. “The idea was to build an arrangement where we could have everything at our fingertips. I can reach 80 bottles without moving,” Brickel said.
Among the drinks are four types of daiquiris, a Sunglasses at Night (mezcal, Clement, genepy, Averna, Campari and lime oil), and a carbonated cocktail that changes monthly — this month’s drink, the Gaucho, is based on Fernet Branca, and tastes akin to a deeper, darker, more herbal rum and Coke.
C&K Farmingdale has also partnered with new neighbor Flux Coffee, and its owner Arsalan Pourmand, for a drink of Flux cold-brew coffee blended with banana liqueur, ruby port, house coconut cream and nutmeg, called Zero Flux Given. (Brickel and Pourmand have known each other since high school).
All cocktails are $13, and food is limited to small bites such as bacon deviled eggs ($8) a plate of house pickles ($10) and a quesadilla with smashed avocados and maple-bourbon bacon jam ($10).
The partners opened the first Cork & Kerry in Floral Park in 2015, obscuring it behind a coffee shop called Roast. The second location, which looks like a museum from the outside, opened in Rockville Centre in 2016. The Farmingdale location has been in the renovation and permitting process for close to a year, Brickel said.
C&K Farmingdale is open daily from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m., opening “a little earlier” on Fridays and Saturdays.
Cork & Kerry, 230 Main St., Farmingdale.