At only 30 seats or so, Midtown's Spare Key had a capacity that might be barely more people than the line for the bathroom at the Dogwood. Instead of a platoon of bartenders pulling taps and shaking Vegas bombs, Spare Key only has two people behind the bar. One of them is operating partner Chris Frankel. He's a St. John's alum with a well-traveled pedigree that includes stints at places like Anvil, RDG + Bar Annie and Captain Foxheart's Bad News Bar and Spirit Lodge.
Frankel has lived in Midtown for eight years so he knows he's offering something different from his neighbors or even from other cocktail bars. For example, instead of an elaborate menu, Spare Key only has five classics and five house cocktails on its menu, as well as wines by the glass and local and craft bottled beers. Frankel has also introduced a menu of 51 cocktails — one for every state and Washington, D.C. — that's inspired by his travels around the country.