Like any good new wave speakeasy, Apotheke is hidden behind a nondescript old Chinatown storefront, down a small windy road (Doyers, one of my favorite streets in the city) and you’d never know it was there unless you were in the know.
Apotheke means pharmacy or drugstore, or a place for the art, practice or profession of preparing, preserving, compounding, and dispensing medical herbs, elixirs or potions. The team and theme here is appropriately medical and the staff plays along with lab coats and a menu that reads like old-timey makeshift healing elixirs.
The space is dark and snugly, but a bit on the contemporary side of its roots as an opium den. The walls are beautifully scruffy brick, the couches look plucked from a Victorian parlor and the bathroom has some quirky copper Fraggle Rock style pipes that are worth taking a look at. But that’s all surface, and none of it matters if the drinks are no good, but whatever it was I ordered (something frothy infused with tea, if I recall) was delicious. Might not be the best place with crowds on a Saturday night but I’d come back for an early drink with ambiance.