Your Imaginary Papa Wants a Nice Dry Vermouth

Sunday Aperitivo event will debut future Imaginary Bar offerings

The cocktail lounge slated to open at 1380 Williamson now has a name, Imaginary Bar. One of its missions is to cater to dinner patrons waiting for tables next door at Grampa's Pizzeria (background).

The cocktail lounge slated to open at 1380 Williamson now has a name, Imaginary Bar. One of its missions is to cater to dinner patrons waiting for tables next door at Grampa’s Pizzeria (background).

A unique event Sunday (May 18) at Osteria Papvero will celebrate the Italian ritual tradition of Aperitivo or pre-dinner, while debuting possible food and drink offerings planned for Imaginary Bar which will open later this year at 1380 Williamson Street.

Aperitivo emanates from the latin word meaning “to open” and for Italians means consuming light culinary fare such as nuts, olives, cheeses, and meats along with a dry vermouth, campari or other light liquor. This combination is meant to get your stomach rumbling and ready for a larger meal later on.

In a sense, Your Imaginary Papa: An Aperitivo Social plans to open the curtain a bit on the customer experience one might expect at Imaginary Bar, which is intended to be an apertivo-like experience for people waiting to dine next door at Grampa’s Pizzeria.

Your Imaginary Papa: an Apertivo social hour at Osteria Papavero will showcase possible Imginary Bar offerings. Courtesy: Osteria Papavero

Your Imaginary Papa: an Apertiivo social hour at Osteria Papavero will showcase possible Imginary Bar offerings. Courtesy: Osteria Papavero

The Sunday event, from 4-8 p.m. at 128 east Wilson street, costs $25 at the door and features Osteria Chef Francesco Mangano and Grampa’s Altschul who will collaborate to create the apertivo offerings including “informal service of a slew of antipasti, small plates, bar snacks and Papa Doble popsicles.”

Cocktails $5-7 each, will “reimagine Papavero menu staples and preview that light and bracing zone of Imaginary’s menu that owes its greatest debt to the aperitivo hour here.” according to the event website.

Since we last wrote about Imaginary Bar in March it’s name was well, imaginary and only existed as 16 Bar Spoons, LLC. consisting of principals Josh Swentzel (Star Liquor, Grampa’s Pizzeria, Tip Top Tavern), Hastings Cameron (Forequarter, Underground Food Collective) and Gilbert Altschul (Grampa’s Pizzeria, Mickey’s Tavern).

Imaginary Bar hopes to create a lounge that will serve “innovative culinary cocktails, craft beer, small grower-producer wine and housemade non-alcoholic beverages at approachable price points.” as stated in a letter from the owners to neighbors earlier this year. Their proposal has spurred a larger discussion about commercial development on Willy Street.

16 Bar Spoons, LLC. Principals (l to r) Josh Swentzel, Hastings Cameron and Gilbert Altschul.

16 Bar Spoons, LLC. Principals (l to r) Josh Swentzel, Hastings Cameron and Gilbert Altschul.

At the March Marquette Neighborhood Association Board meeting, the prospect of converting the use of the property from residential to commercial spawned more philosophical discussions about how the “fabric” of the neighborhood is reflected through architecture.

The MNA Board voted to send a letter of support to the Alcohol Licensing and Review Committee with no conditions, but urged the 16 Bar Spoons owners (who were all in attendance) to pursue joint parking options with nearby businesses as well as design exterior lighting so it does not illuminate beyond the property line.

In April, the ALRC and the Madison Common Council approved a Class B combination liquor and beer license (80% alcohol/20% food) with conditions closely aligned to those outlined in the MNA letter.

Josh Swentzel says that they are working with City staff on building plans before they go before the Landmarks and Plan commissions. However he says it may be until the end of summer before they open.

 

Related: Commercial Development on Willy May Dominate MNA Board Meeting

Related: Grampa’s Pizzeria Extends Fig Leaf to Moms and Kids

Related: Grampa’s is open late

Related: MCBW: Potato Maibock and The Mickey Brat

 

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