Greensboro, N.C.– This week, Chef Trey Bell of LaRue Elm, who has earned an enthusiastic following for his enlightened, seasonal approach to classic cuisine, opens Rue-Bar – a cocktail bar dedicated to serving expertly crafted classic and original cocktails. In keeping with Bell’s style at LaRue Elm, Rue-Bar will bring a scientific approach to bartending, employing new techniques and technologies to produce delicious, time-honored and innovative cocktails.
Bell tapped LaRue Elm’s beverage manager Greg Schammel to lead the beverage program at Rue-Bar. Schammel, who has been with LaRue Elm since it opened March 2015, trained with world-renowned mixologist Myles Cunliffe during his tenure at The Marshall Freehouse in 2014. Cunliffe, a mixology consultant who was named Imbibe’s Educator of the Year in 2017, is widely recognized as a specialist in molecular mixology. Since, Schammel has worked closely with Bell to create a modern cocktail program to complement the food at LaRue Elm, and quickly proved his passion and appetite for the craft, making cocktails a hallmark of the dining experience.
Schammel borrows from Bell in the kitchen and uses a chamber vacuum sealer and centrifuge for his infusions as well as a food dehydrator for garnishes, dust and fruit leathers. He also incorporates soy lecithin for emulsified solutions to be used as cocktail garnishes (airs) and agar agar for gelatin drinks and clarifying liquid products by way of agar. Schammel is also credited with introducing the first draft cocktail program in the area, and the popular “Roulette” cocktail offering, whereby guests may choose two descriptors – or even a theme/song/season/feeling – and liquor for a whimsical and one-of-a-kind cocktail.
“Rue-Bar is a natural extension of our work at LaRue Elm. Having a dedicated bar will give Greg and our team the freedom to explore even more, and contribute to Greensboro’s food and beverage culture in an additional way,” Bell said.
Rue-Bar will pay homage to classic cocktails, offering items like their barrel-aged Negroni and their take on a Ramos Gin Fizz, called “Sanborn & Nolan,” which creates the famed foam in a new way, using an iSi Whipping Siphon. Cocktail enthusiasts will appreciate the new cocktails created specifically for rue-bar. These will change regularly and may include “All That Glitters Is Gold,” featuring one of their infusions – a Grapefruit and Rosemary-infused vodka – topped with sparkling wine and smoked sugar, or “Little Trouble” – a Mezcal cocktail that is shaken and served up, with salt air as the garnish. Rue-Bar will also offer cocktails on draft, enabling them to serve well-crafted cocktails quickly, as well as a selection of wines by the glass and bottle, and beers in cans and bottles. Aside from specialty cocktails, drinks will range from $5 to $10.
Rue-Bar’s décor features graffiti murals by local artists and casual, comfortable seating including 50 seats, with 15 at the bar, six curved booths, and several bistro tables, as well as two private cocktail lounges with a sofa, cocktail tables and a TV, which may be reserved.
Frequent guests may want to take advantage of Rue-Bar’s Whiskey Locker System, storage for prized liquors or wines to be enjoyed at their leisure. 32 lockers will be available for an annual fee of $500, with just $1 upon locker opening.
Also of note, Schammel is currently spearheading the Triad Beverage Alliance with the goal of becoming the third chartered chapter of the US Bartenders Guild of North Carolina. This group’s first event – “Gin & Tonic Week” – will take place across the Triad August 20-26 at LaRue Elm, Rue-Bar and nine additional participating restaurants and bars from Winston-Salem and Greensboro. Gins from Sutler’s Spirits Co. and Fainting Goat Spirits will be featured, and a percentage of proceeds support the Greensboro Urban Ministry. Follow @TriadBeverageAlliance on Instagram for details.
Rue-Bar, located at 318 South Elm Street in downtown Greensboro, is now open Wednesdays through Saturdays, beginning at 5 p.m. Call 336-252-2254 to reserve a private room. Walk-ins encouraged and canine friends, welcome.