|Hamlet & Ghost gets it in writing.|
Hamlet & Ghost, which its developers hope to open in December, will be an "industrial chic" space in a 19th Century commercial building at Caroline and Putnam Streets. It will offer a lengthy craft cocktail list as well as a small plates menu, but perhaps the most interesting thing it will offer is guaranteed seating.
"We wanted to create a space where everyone can enjoy a well-crafted cocktail in a relaxed atmosphere, without feeling crowded out or out of place," said owner Brendan Dillon. About 50 customers at a time will be hosted in three different seating areas: a European-style banquette along the front windows, a classic counter bar in the middle, and in a more intimate area with small tables and banquette.
Dillon says capacity will be managed by way of limited reservations combined with a text/call availability list based on a first-come, first-seated policy. “We don’t want anyone to be forced to stand or feel congested," he said. "We want the authenticity of the promised experience to be maintained, and everyone to feel comfortable, whether by themselves or with others. In terms of my approach at the bar, our best cocktail will be not simply the one I love to make, but rather the one each patron loves the most.”
In the 1870s, the building venue was a feed and grain store. It became a hardware store during the years of Prohibition, and some local history buffs allege it contained a facade covering a hidden gambling spot.
Dillon has tended bar at the nearby Max London’s Restaurant & Bar for the past five years. His resume includes bartending at several other Saratoga spots as well as at Verde Restaurant at Stratton Mountain in Vermont. He has been working with two other hospitality industry veterans to put together Hamlet & Ghost: Chall Gray, operator of six tap rooms and craft cocktail bars, most notably the Top of the Monk in Asheville, NC, and, Alex Straus, a native of Saratoga Springs who has opened numerous bars on the West Coast and in Las Vegas.
Plans call for Hamlet & Ghost to be open Monday through Saturday from late afternoon until midnight during the week, with a 2 a.m. closing time on the weekend.