Best New Bar


Staff Pick

Tim Wiggins is so talented, he could make pond water into a wonderful libation. Put rum in front of him, however, and the results are utterly transcendent. The acclaimed barman used his favorite spirit as the jumping-off point for Yellowbelly, the Central West End bar and restaurant he co-owns with Travis Howard. The pair knew they wanted to do a sea-and-spirits-style concept, but they resisted defining that as a kitschy, throwback tiki bar. Instead, they created a stunningly modern restaurant with nods to the Pacific Islands without being a caricature. Yellowbelly's bar is so special not just because of Wiggins' cocktail prowess — and it's certainly there on full display — but because it pushes guests to rethink what a rum-based cocktail can be. Of course, you'll find wonderful, balanced versions of the classic tiki drinks, but Wiggins has also created a selection of "new school" cocktails that show the spirit's striking range. Enjoy one of these in this stylish, airy setting and you'll understand his love of rum — and will develop an affection for it of your own.

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