Bar Report: The Mercury Bar (or the future The Bar at Blaisdell Hotel)




From left: bacon and The Provocateur; bartender Matt Choy juicing fruit for cocktails; the smoked pork pizza

There are three things about The Mercury Bar that need saying right up front:
1. Fresh-pressed juice cocktails—so, so good. Like, dangerously good.
2. Corned beef hash and egg pizza. Yeah. Perfection on a plate.
3. Ready for this? Bacon. Some bars give you beer nuts, this one gives you bacon. Just bacon—strips of the crispy stuff standing at attention in a half-pint glass. Because what better bar snack, right? Sheer genius.

When Anthony Carll bought The Mercury Bar last September, it was with the intention of taking it back a few decades with an upgrade and a bit of retrofit. He warmed up the joint with a few well-placed wood accents (a new upcycled bar top and cool plank paneling on the walls), added table and chairs, gave the restrooms a redo (thank you) and has, over the past few months, been adding new drinks and food to the bar’s offerings.

A name change is also in the works. Next month, we’ll be drinking and eating at The Bar at the Blaisdell Hotel, the name a nod to the old Chinatown building that was once a hotel and is now all kinds of things, including Carll’s bar. “I wanted the name to reflect the atmosphere that I’m going for,” said Carll.

Old-timey swank with swagger—in a divey, speakeasy kind of way.

The new drink menu, with its aptly named cocktails, like The Poolboy, The Concierge and The Bell Hop, is the best kind of drink menu: chock full of boozy cocktails that taste fancy but aren’t dainty. Our favorites: The Provocateur with fresh-pressed grapefruit and lime juices, Patron tequila and a li hing lemon wedge; and the Pool Boy, an ultra drinkable blend of fresh cucumbers, lime and mint. It’s like a mojito, only better.

We would gladly stop in for the drinks alone, if Carll hadn’t also created one of the best pizzas around. His corned beef hash and fried egg pizza is so simply brilliant that it’s almost crazy. The thin, crisp crust seemed just barely brushed with a mild marinara sauce then spread with a layer of corned beef hash and topped in the very center of the pie with a perfectly cooked over easy egg. When he slices the 8-inch pizza, the tips of each piece get just enough of the silky, runny yolk and the whole experience is just perfect. We haven’t stopped talking about it (and dreaming about it, and craving it) since. Not to be outdone by the corned beef hash-de-resistance, the other eight or 10 pizzas on the menu are also delicious. The smoked pork, made with Big Island pork and Nalo greens is a more-than-satisfying second choice.

Go to The Mercury Bar. Drink cocktails and eat pizza. Go on a Tuesday and get free bacon.

The Mercury Bar
Fresh-pressed juice cocktails from $10, pizzas from $8
1154 Fort Street Mall, 537-3080

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