Thank goodness for grandfather clauses.
An inherited liquor license courtesy of the former Banjo Jim's space allows The Wayland, a new spot in the East Village, to stay open until 4 a.m.--all the more time to revel in a knockout triad of skillful cocktails, food and music.
Two decades of live shows have seeped into these country-lovin' tongue-and-groove floorboards. Now an upright piano is played occasionally by one of the bartenders, while on other nights, there is New Orleans-style street jazz, soulful funk or impromptu performances.
Warm nuts adorned with honey, cayenne and rosemary ($4) call out for a tall glass of San Fran Spout ($7)--bitter and herbaceous Fernet-Branca mixed with a bold homemade cola.
The bar shares the kitchen's ingredients and vice versa. Braised Beast short ribs ($7 on toast, $11 as a sandwich) are slow-cooked with red wine, tomato paste and the same homemade sour-cherry jam that lands in the bar's fantastic Sour Cherry Flip ($11).
If you take those couple of steps up into The Wayland's dark wooden room, Avenue C feels like a remote backwoods find.
The Wayland, 700 E. Ninth St. (at Ave. C); 212-777-7022 or thewaylandnyc.com
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