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The People's Drug

by Jeanette Wages about a year ago in restaurants
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Come for the 'Gram Stay for the Cocktails

Whether you wander in off the street because of the large neon “Drugs” sign behind the bar, saw pictures of amazing cocktails posted on Instagram or were recommended to try it by a friend, it is clear why The People’s Drug has become an old town hot spot for locals and visitors alike. Coming into the small, intimate space will bring many locals back to moments of nostalgia with the classic five-an-dime, soda counter feel inspired by the People’s Drug chain many grew up with before CVS came along, and this was exactly the feel owners Teddy Kim, Seth McClelland, Ian McGrath and manager Jon Schott were going for when creating their first restaurant together. They wanted to bring back that sandwich counter feel from their younger years, even the wall states “Good food and Good Vibes!” and that’s exactly what they did with their own twist and flair. Beverage Director and General Manager Jon Schott may describe it best “Those that grew up in the area remember them well and especially the soda counter or lunch counter. The counter was where people from all walks gathered to get a bite. We wanted to provide that to our community and continue what we want to be the evolution of them and elevate the idea with incredible food and cocktails. We also felt the name highlighted the importance of food in somewhat of a Hippocrates’ way; “let food be thy medicine.” We wanted a place that was approachable and where you didn’t need to sacrifice that for quality. The two words People and Drug come together in our place for what you could say a prescribed good time.”

There is something for everyone in People’s Drug, from delicious, casual food created by Chef Melvin Urrutia to the cocktails created with a lot of hard work, research and most importantly love by Jon Schott and his team. The food has an easy casual feel with options ranging from sandwiches and The People’s Burger which are far from basic to the red bowl, made Red Quinoa, Avocado, Arugula, Peas, Asparagus, Dried Cherries, Honey-Lime Vinaigrette and can be topped with tofu, jerk chicken, shrimp, pork belly, pork shoulder, or steak, and we absolutely cannot forget the fan favorite, truffle fries. Even the pickiest of eaters will have no trouble finding something to love on the menu. The dining experience will make you feel at home in a way no sandwich at home ever actually has, with locally sourced ingredients and just the right amount of elegance and twist to make your tastebuds dance.

As delicious and satisfying as the food is at People’s Drug, the real star of the show are the cocktails with something for everyone from the cocktail purists, newbies to the craft cocktail scene and adventurers. Every single cocktail served is Instagram ready in eclectic glasses sourced from local antique stores and estate sales, with perfect pops of color and garnishes which are not only eye pleasing but delicious and made just for your enjoyment, as the team knows we all taste with our eyes first, and of course the photos we do for the gram. The cocktail menu changes seasonally to keep the menu fresh and interesting as well as true to their mission to serve local and impactful food and beverage to the community. With over 200 cocktails that have graced their menu since opening in the Spring of 2018, one cocktail has remained the same, their signature Old Fashioned. Spending three years perfecting the recipe for their Signature Old Fashioned using Old Forester Signature Bourbon, Gum Syrup, housemade aromatic bitters, and an orange zest, this no frills, and absolutely no cherry Old Fashioned is perfection for those who truly love a classic Old Fashioned. As a self proclaimed Old Fashioned snob, I promise you will not be disappointed. If you lean towards the playful and adventurous side there is always something on the menu for you as well with drinks that start out just being fun to say like the “Fancy as Buck” or “Pistachio Mustacio” from previous fall and winter menus, you can tell Jon and his team don’t take themselves too seriously. Of course, crafting these playful gems is still hard work which you can see while sitting at the bar watching the staff create and use the house-made ingredients going into each of these cocktails, everything from the freshly squeezed citrus juices, spices and bitters used are done in house for the most unique experience. There is a focus on every aspect of your experience hitting all the sense from sound, not just the music choices, but the sounds of shaking cocktails, fun to say names and laughter that can be heard throughout the restaurant, the sight of beautiful cocktails and the occasional behind the counter bar tricks (Jon never left his flair bartending roots behind and his customers are not complaining), the aroma right before your drink hits your lips as you feel transported with classic but funky glasses in your hand to the final, most important moment when you get to taste these masterpieces.

Breaking out of your comfort zone is easy with their knowledgeable and friendly staff ready at all times to walk you through the menu to make sure you get the perfect drink for your preferences and palate. If you’re really looking to experience something different, pop on by for Mezcal Mondays, GINtimate Tuesdays, the all important Brunch or one of their many events and holiday specials.

Come in for your instagram photos, enjoy your cocktails and delicious eats and stay for the community vibe and good times. Approachable perfection is the name of their game and they have nailed it.

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About the author

Jeanette Wages

Whenever I have lost my way or lost sight of myself, I always come back to a pen and a paper (or sometimes a laptop these days). I share stories from my life and from the people around me to help show that no matter what we can always rise.

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