Apotheke is something of a speakeasy located in Chinatown, NYC. The awning is unlabeled, but there’s no passwords, secret entrances, or exclusive phone number. You just need to be savvy enough to know where to look- Doyers St. a.k.a. the Bloody Elbow. You can tell which of the two doors labeled “9” is Apotheke by looking for the window stacked with medicine bottles.
The decor is apothecary chic. As you can see, there’s a large number of antique medicine bottles filled with all manners of housemade bitters and infusions. I’ve heard the word “opium den” used to describe the classy decor. It has all the feel of a lounge, but none of the notions of exclusivity. Its a bit louder than many similar cocktail bars in the city, and the clientele is well dressed. Much better for groups than places like Raine’s Law Room with ample standing room. In fact, the bar doesn’t have any stools.
The bartenders are great. Mustaches, lab coats and they make top notch cocktails. But unlike many cocktail bars- there’s not a classic in sight. The menu is entirely original concoctions. They’re sorted by category like “stress relief,” “aphrodisiacs” and contain all manner of ingredients- many of which you would never see at a place serving Jerry Thomas cocktails.