Nautical-themed cocktail lounge and restaurant honors Mystic’s seafaring history
MYSTIC, Conn., March 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Nautical-themed cocktail lounge and restaurant The Port of Call, a collaboration between Mystic restaurant group 85th Day Food Community and The Real McCoy Rum, opens its doors today. The Port of Call hearkens back to the days of maritime excursions, exploring international cocktail culture and cuisine together, port by port.
Three women are steering the ship: Beverage Director Jade Ayala and Executive Chef Renée Touponce (who together helm the Oyster Club next door), and general manager Nancy Hankins. Sebastian Guerrero, of NYC’s iconic Dante and Mother of Pearl, heads the bar program.
Designer Jennifer Pryor sought to recreate the functional elegance of vintage wooden racing and work yachts while maintaining the building’s Victorian legacy and adding a hint of British pub back vibe. The main floor is styled after a classic yacht "saloon," a refined space with mahogany paneling and relaxed, intimate seating areas. Authentic decorative touches include the "Million Mile Bar," the top of which is made from wood reclaimed from the Charles W. Morgan, the last wooden whaleship in the world, which traveled a million miles over 180 years, and teak floors made from the original deck boards from the Joseph Conrad.
"Below deck" is Dive – a diver-themed bar with an unmarked entrance that’s a nod to the region’s deep sea diving history, featuring salvaged portholes and fixtures, along with shuffleboard and arcade games.
"It’s a unique experience with its own ambiance," says Dan Meiser, founder of 85th Day, which also operates Mystic’s Oyster Club and Engine Room. "We like to describe The Port of Call like the two decks from the movie Titanic. Upstairs, patrons encounter elegance and luxury, while below deck, it’s Kate and Leo at the party."
Jade Ayala’s cocktail program at The Port of Call draws influence from the flavors of great port cities, riffing on classic drinks and pushing the envelope with experimental techniques. This makes it an ideal partner for The Lab at Real McCoy Spirits, a boutique rum and single malt whiskey distillery in Stonington. The Lab serves as an innovation hub where the bar team makes custom spirits, blends, tinctures, and cocktails on tap.
Renée Touponce’s cocktail-driven food pairings are inspired by flavors, recipes, and ingredients from storied coastal communities from around the globe. The street food-inspired menu sails from South America to Southeast Asia, Puerto Rico, and the Mediterranean, and changes throughout the season as it journeys from port to port. Highlights include bacalaitos, boquerones, papas rellenas, and Singapore-style grilled mushroom salad.
See the menus here.
Guests at Dive enjoy casual fare, featuring smoked hot dogs with kimchi on house steamed bao buns, buttermilk fried chicken with koji hot honey, and Jersey-style pork roll sandwiches.
The Port of Call’s downtown location is convenient to several of the town’s cultural hubs, including the Museum of Art, Historical Society, and of course, Oyster Club, making it the perfect stop on a tour.
The Port of Call is located at 15 Water Street, Mystic, CT. To stay up-to-date on The Port of Call and Dive, follow @theportofcallct.
SOURCE The Port of Call