Duecento Cocktail Lounge Opening in Italian Village
Local entrepreneurs Andrew Losinske and Ted Lawson (Bullwinkles Night Club) are injecting a bit of Italian flair into Italian Village. They’ll open up Duecento, Italian for “two-hundred,” on the corner of East Fourth Avenue and North Fourth Street this Saturday, Feb. 2.
Losinske and Lawson took over the lease at 200 E. Fourth Ave. three years ago, hoping to transform an abandoned warehouse with no plumbing or electricity into a vibrant restaurant and cocktail lounge. With 3,000 square feet to work with, they carved out a space for a large bar, a DJ station, and a line of big booths along the west wall of the building, leaving an open floor between it all. In the back is a full kitchen, and behind the building a large, enclosed patio.
The process came with no shortage of “bureaucratic snafus,” preventing them from installing skylights that would allow live plants to thrive. Losinske has instead filled the place with realistic fake plants, pulpy posters, chandeliers, mood lighting, and antique accents.
Like any self-identified cocktail lounge, Duecento’s focus will be on the drinks. They’ve solicited the help of local mixologist Christina Basham, who’s currently a sales manager with Middle West Spirits, to put together their cocktail program. She’s come up with a mixture of draft and handmade cocktails that play with Duecento’s theme.
“We decided to do an approachable craft cocktail program,” says Basham, who’ll also train Duecento staff in drink execution. “We wanted to create something that was small and humble, and it’ll definitely be leaning into their loosely Italian theme with some executable cocktails that still resonate.”
On the draft side, guests can look forward to a pomegranate mule with black walnut bitters — “does not taste like a mule, it’s more like a tasty, long vodka cocktail,” says Basham — and, in keeping it Italian, a negroni. On the handmade side will be some classic drinks with a twist. Basham offered their Black Manhattan as an example, which uses an amaro and Middle West Spirits’ Stone Fruit Vodka to create something “unexpected, but makes total sense.”
Losinske says the plan is to launch a food menu soon after their grand opening. It’ll comprise a selection of small plates made from available local ingredients. In the meantime, they’ll invite local food trucks to park at the corner of East Fourth Avenue and North Fourth Street. Guests can also visit the trucks parked at Seventh Son across the street.
Losinske and Lawson also rent the two buildings near Duecento. In the future, they hope to expand the concept into those structures, either using them to host live music or open a separate restaurant.
To start, Duecento will be open Thursday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., with a DJ appearing after 11 p.m. They’ll expand their days and hours in spring.
For more information, visit their Facebook page.