Breweries & Bars

Myths and magic are celebrated at Hecate, a new Back Bay cocktail bar

The intimate lounge opens April 7.

The Santa Muerte cocktail at Hecate
The Santa Muerte cocktail at Hecate. Adam Detour

Hecate, a new cocktail bar opening April 7 from the team behind Krasi, the Greek wine-focused Mediterranean restaurant on Gloucester Street, is spinning some myth and magic in the heart of Back Bay.

“At Hecate, you enter the realm of spirits,” co-owner Demetri Tsolakis told Boston.com.

The sultry space is located off the alley adjacent to Krasi and named after the fearless, benevolent Greek goddess who guards against the dark forces of the underworld. Fun pun notwithstanding, it might feel a little spooky as one enters through a door marked with the sign of Hecate, a traditional protective Greek threshold marker.

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Do not mistake this sequestered spot for a speakeasy, though: “It is not a speakeasy,” Tsolakis said. “We want this to be a European-style bar rather than American; a different vibe.”

The Threshold, a tiny antechamber where Sippers, three different daily changing drinks — “… designed to tantalize the tastebuds,” Tsolakis said — are offered while awaiting a seat in the 24-seat bar. The Sippers keep guests happy when the dimly lit space is at full capacity.

“Standing is not allowed,” Tsolakis said. “We want this to be a one-on-one intimate experience.”

Staff, called spirit guides, take guests through the eclectic list of 10 signature, seasonally changing Rites & Rituals; three Dry Spells, non-alcoholic drinks finely curated so that no one feels left out of the fun; and a short list of wine and beer.

The Strophalos at Hecate
The Strophalos at Hecate. – Adam Detour

The visually striking drinks, each designed with an individual garnish complementing color, flavors, or both, are created by beverage directors Lou Charbonneau and Aliz Meszesi.

“The spirts are off the beaten path,” Meszesi said. “The selection goes beyond what goes into the usual cocktails. We want people to experience things they won’t find in other places or do by themselves.

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“Guests can order off menu or order a signature drink. We will design to their needs,” she added.

For example: The Feast of Gevaudan plays on an archaic French myth of a ravaging beast, and is made from Double Zero Eau De Vie de Cidre, a natural French apple brandy (calvados); Scottish Old Raj Gin, made with orris root, licorice, and finished with saffron; and Brovo Lucky Falernum, a spiced, fruity, sweetened high-proof rum. If that weren’t enough on the tongue, mustard, horseradish, Hungarian paprika (more flavorsome than Spanish), and honey complete the drink, which is garnished with a miniature charcuterie board.

The Feast of Gevaudan at Hecate
The Feast of Gevaudan at Hecate. – Adam Detour

Hecate also offers Incantations, which are occasional experimental cocktails presented on a bookmark in the cocktail book. 

Krasi chef Valentine Howell adds some tasty nibbles, including popcorn with a minty tzatziki seasoning, shrimp puffs with charred scallion yogurt, a spicy fried halloumi with charred corn, and an oatmeal cookie with dulce de leche push-pops.

Hecate is no afterthought and was always a part of the plan when Tsolakis and his partners, Stefanos Ougrinis, Tasha Breshinsky, and Kayla Padilla, opened Krasi in February 2020.

“Hecate was always part of the opening plan, but it didn’t make sense to introduce an intimate space during the pandemic. So we waited,” Tsolakis said. “Now, the time seems right for something different, something new and exciting.”

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Hecate is located at Public Alley 443 & Gloucester St., Boston. 6 p.m.-1 a.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays.

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