Late Nights and a 1920s Vibe
by Melissa LaScaleia
Since its arrival in the Market Common, Crepe Creations Cafe has charmed patrons with its old-world inspired crepes and steady expansion both of menu and space. Last year they procured a liquor license and introduced a full bar to their offerings, and several months ago finished another remodel to include an electric fireplace, a full kitchen, and an expansive, open dining space. These days they have live music nightly, and last month they rolled out their newest enhancement— a Martini bar.
The owners convinced Christopher Ware, who is an expert on Martinis— having acquired that knowledge from working as a bartender in high profile bars in the Beverly Hills and Melrose areas of LA, to exchange one sunny coast for another and spearhead its creation.
“I know everything there is to know about the Martini—” Christopher says in an interview with the Insider, “its origin, its history, how to make the perfect one, the rules for making one, and whether it should be shaken or stirred.”
Stirred only please, no matter what James Bond requests.
Christopher is enchanted with the Martini because of its unique history and versatility as a drink, and is adept at making everything from the classics, to the so-called candy Martinis.
The Martini was born during the California Gold Rush of 1800, in Martinez, just outside of San Francisco, when a frequent bar patron there used to request his own concoction— a mixture of gin, dry vermouth, maraschino liquor, and a dash of bitters. Word caught on, and the drink took off in the small city. It branded itself, and people began to refer to it according to its origins. Over time the name got shortened, as those requesting it asked for a Martini.
Christopher’s other passion is for cocktails from the prohibition era— that period of history from 1920-1933 when alcohol was illegal to sell, but not illegal to drink. To get around the law, people would make alcohol at home in their bathtubs with varying levels of skill, and the underground bars they sold it to would have to come up with very creative ways to make the inferior spirits taste good.
“Knowledge of prohibition cocktails is uncommon amongst bartenders,” Christopher says. “But they are some of the more creative and appealing drinks. Where I came from in LA, that was one of my specialties.”
Enter Late Nights at the Cafe, where every Friday and Saturday night, the cafe transforms into a prohibition themed Martini bar. They’ll serve up Martinis and cocktails from that era, to the accompanying beats of jazz, swing, and big band music.
They still offer their fabulous cocktails with only 100% freshly squeezed juices for all their drinks, day and night.
“Late Nights has a different feel to it though,” Christopher says. “It’s adults only, with a prohibition-era bar atmosphere.”