With a second baby on the way, "mixtress" Gina Chersevani is parting ways with Hank's Oyster Bar on the Hill. Her last shift will be next Friday. Chersevani will continue to operate Buffalo & Bergen at Union Market and her frozen cocktail-serving Airstream trailer, Suburbia. She also plans to expand the retail sale of her tonics and syrups, which she began offering at Buffalo & Bergen over the holidays.
The departure from Hank's just so happens to coincide with a month celebrating the bar's greatest cocktail hits. Over the course of year, the bar team—Chersevani, Michael Saccone, Jason Strich, and Sam Schmidt—came up with more than 500 cocktails as part of weekly themed menus, which have covered everything from Madonna to Top Gun to Christmas in July. Now through Feb. 28, the bar will serve drinks like "Confessions of a Suburban Housewife" with gin, housemade limoncello, Meyer lemon, and coconut as well as "I Know What Boys Like" with bacon-washed Rittenhouse rye whiskey, Pig's Nose Scotch Whisky, burnt sugar, bitters, and orange.
Later this year, a few hundred of the year's recipes will make their way into a pamphlet-sized cocktail book called Brought to You By. Chersevani says they are looking for a publisher. In the meantime, the beverage program at Hank's at will now be overseen by Saccone, who is also the assistant general manager at Hank's. Rather than weekly rotating themed menus, the bar will serve a seasonal cocktail list going forward.
If you want to catch Chersevani one last time at Hank's, stop by next Friday for a final send-off. Chersevani says she has a lot of incomplete sets of cool glassware because of breakage. It's not enough to use for normal business, so she will be giving away the glasses to guests from 6 to 8 p.m. (There may be a raffle or trivia, stay tuned.)
She's also planning to be at Buffalo & Bergen on Valentine's Day. The New York-style soda shop bar will serve a "sweetheart's old-fashioned board" on Feb. 13 and 14 with a flight of four different old-fashioneds for $40. The cocktails come on a wooden plank with "cocktail stain artwork" that couples can write on with a sharpie and keep to use in the future for cheese or charcuterie. Tickets can be reserved and purchased in advance by calling (202) 543-2549.
Of course, Chersevani's presence at Buffalo & Bergen on Valentine's Day depends on her baby. She's due Feb. 16.
Photos by Jessica Sidman