Ever since designers began outfitting restaurant waitstaff, I invariably feel more under-dressed than my server. That's even truer in the city's best bars. But Jim Meehan, the outstanding editor of Food & Wine's Cocktail books, has pointed out a trend that will hopefully help me out: some of the great cocktail bars now have a fashion sideline. The originator is Freeman's Alley owner Taavo Somer, whose great little Freeman's Sporting Club sells his elegant line of men's suits (they even have an old school barber shop). More recently, David Kaplan, co-owner of the East Village's Death & Co. has designed a line of hoddies, tee-shirts and bags for men and women. These items are decorated with Prohibition-era illustrations that will soon be available on line at ginandluck.com (he'll also be selling books and cocktail tools, which is completely genius). Next, you'll see the bartenders at PDT (including Mr. Meehan) wearing Lord Willy—if that name sounds familiar, it's because the chic British designer created the fabulous suits for the staff at Tailor. PDT will also get a limited edition run of 100 Lord Willy ties that they'll either sell or give to friends and family (you'll know your status if you get one). There's even a rumor that Milk & Honey guru Sasha Petraske is working on a clothing line.
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