While not quite your parents’ house, Wally Kalled and Ali Nemhem sought to create a home away from home when they opened Canton’s Cherry Martini in November. Mission accomplished if your home comes equipped with painted concrete floors, exposed metal ductwork and a seamless 75-foot bar.
“We wanted to have the East Coast look with a lot of seating,” Kalled says. “We wanted to have fun with the place (but) we wanted things to be simple.”
Unpretentious works for Cherry Martini which attracts everyone from 20-something hipsters to a more distinguished (but still young at heart) clientele. “I was excited that there was a semi-high class bar (nearby),” says Angela Sillmon 26 of Plymouth.
You don’t have to break the bank on a designer wardrobe for Cherry Martini, but security will turn you away for looking a hot mess. Nice jeans, button down shirts and tasteful tees works for the guys. Ladies, you know the drill. Think classy, not trashy.
“We’re not label snobs,” Kalled says, but “we want people to prepare a little bit. Take care of yourselves.”
Warm burgundy-colored walls complement the modular, cloth-covered cream sofas and beige and brown chairs. Ivory padding behind the bar ties in with the color scheme. “We wanted the type of furniture you find in a loft,” Kalled says.
While the colors are conservative, the furniture covers can be changed faster than you can say, “I’ll have a Long Island iced tea.” Blood-red couch covers have transformed the hip martini bar into a seductive haven for past parties.Red backlit cutouts behind the bar also add a punch of color.
The building’s slight incline conveniently allows Cherry Martini to be transformed into three distinct areas – VIP (a little higher up), lounge (in the middle with the bar) and the dance floor (at the bottom of the incline).
Bartenders wouldn’t reveal the ingredients in the bar’s signature drink, but the namesake drink has been a hit they said. If the Cherry Martini cocktail doesn’t tickle your fancy, take a go at the Chocolate, Key Lime, Lemonade, Berry Patch or Wally’s Watermelon martinis.
“We make them up as we go along, “Kalled says. “We try to have some fun with them.”
In the few shorts months that this Canton joint has been open, the staff has come up with more than 400 martini recipes they alternate through depending on the season.
“Everything can be turned into a martini with the right mixture,” Kalled says.
Lucky for us
If martinis aren’t your thing, there’s a full bar, more than 30 different wines by the glass or bottle, and sake. Standard bar food includes chicken wings, mac and cheese bites, mini tacos, mozzarella sticks, onion rings and fries.
The menu – currently a handwritten, torn sheet of white paper passed from person to person -- will be finalized once the staff at Cherry Martini finds out what people most like. They may also develop a dessert menu in the near future.
DJs Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights mix things up with hip-hop and techno, and live music (think cover bands) may be coming soon, Kalled says.
Thursday is ladies night with $6 wine, but everyone can take advantage of $2 domestics, $5 martinis, $4 well drinks and $3 shots.
Ese Esan is on the D-scene. Email her party invites, new club openings, inside information and after-dark secrets to firstname.lastname@example.org.