Cedar Local’s Telly Liberatos On Bringing Happy Hours Home

Cedar Local (25 Cedar Street) is usually a popular spot to knock back a few drinks after work. The dim lighting and modern ambiance provides an intimate alternative for people seeking non-pub vibes after clocking out for the day. Since March 14, the normally bustling bar has been closed. The Downtown Alliance spoke to co-owner Telly Liberatos (pictured above left)  about how he’s doing during the New York pause and asked him for advice on how to bring happy hours home.

As someone who is used to creating and participating in Lower Manhattan’s lively spirit, what have been some of the things that have helped you stay positive while stuck at home?

Really reconnecting with family and friends, getting my home cooking on, and making mean cups of coffee! I added meditation to my self-care routine which has helped tremendously for staying positive. I also added daily walks and admiring all the history our neighborhood has. Architecturally it’s phenomenal, and my mind escapes to the great future that will be. 

What’s something you miss most about being at Cedar Local? 

First and foremost, my team which over the past years (going to be six years July 18) and all my friends and locals that I have met which became a huge part of me through Cedar Local. I miss that the most because I saw and felt what a strong community does. Through Cedar Local I have made lifelong friendships, and I have seen people connect for the first time in what became fruitful relationships and endeavors. 

What’s your go-to drink when you’re at home? 

It all depends on what is for dinner and what music I am listening to. Right now, I am having a Johnny Walker Black with fresh peach juice served in a collins glass on the rocks. 

For the rest of us who might not be quite as skilled in mixology, what are some accessible cocktails the layperson can easily make? 

We love the 50:50 martini, which is just equal parts gin — Tanqueray 10 is my favorite — and dry vermouth with a dash of orange bitters. Stir it until it is nice and cold, about 10 seconds, strain into a chilled glass and garnish with a twist of lemon skin, an olive or even both if you are feeling crazy. Serve without ice and enjoy the crisp clean flavors.

What’s the best drink to have for a Zoom happy hour and why?

Anything with Tequila! Tequila is an upper and makes for quite the story to tell the day after.

What should a home bar always have in stock? 

Standard spirits like tequila, vodka and bourbon or whiskey. Bottles of bitters (especially Angostura). Have a club soda handy or a juice of choice, simple syrup. It’s easy to make at home. A cocktail shaker and strainer, bottle opener and plenty of ice. Throw in a couple of red and white wines, and you are all set.