The Haymaker, Eschelon Experiences’ latest cocktail-only bar concept, made its debut early this month. The group’s latest venture offers downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, patrons a vintage, home-style bar experience with specialty drinks, punches, and champagne on tap. While sipping on hand-crafted cocktails, guests can nod along to classic 90’s-era hip-hop hits as they make themselves at home amongst the bar’s leather chairs and vintage furnishings.
“When conceptualizing the space, we looked at what downtown Raleigh was missing and what, at our core, we really wanted,” says Eschelon Experiences creative director, Dustin Slemp. “We wanted to open a cocktail bar that extended beyond being a place for guests to celebrate special occasions and life accomplishments. We wanted to open a bar that would become a local watering hole with delicious drinks made by bartenders that care about their craft.”
Serving up drinks behind the bar are managers Alex Flynn and Josh Gagne. Flynn’s Beverage Alcohol Resource (BAR) 5-Day Certification lends him a deep knowledge of spirits and mixology and can easily create original cocktails like “Sing Like a Bee” that fuses together gin, early grey tea, lemon, clementine and honey or “The Way of the Road” that combines mezcal, Irish whiskey, cocchi Americano, disaronno and amontillado sherry.
With a play on words to the popular knockout boxing swing, The Haymaker plays on masculine versus feminine design elements. From a giant moose head mounted on the bar’s wall, to the linen floral wall mural, antique boxing gloves, and tea cups, The Haymaker features hidden treasures of nostalgia for all to enjoy.
“I kept joking with with our team that I wanted it to feel like if you had a really badass Grandma with awesome taste. The whole team just seemed to understand what we wanted the end result to be. From décor, to the drinks, to the music—it all just clicked in the end,” adds Slemp.
The Haymaker is located in downtown Raleigh’s Charter Square at 555 Fayetteville Street, tucked in the alley behind B.Good. Memberships are $1, valid for one year and are available for purchase at the door.