palominohorse.jpg
The place: Palomino , 1420 5th Ave # 350, 623-1300

The drink: Mint Julep

The bartender: Tom Karich

The story: When City Centre's cinemas closed

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First Call: Palomino

palominohorse.jpg
The place: Palomino, 1420 5th Ave # 350, 623-1300

The drink: Mint Julep

The bartender: Tom Karich

The story: When City Centre's cinemas closed several years ago, many people assumed the entire third floor of the downtown office tower's retail undercarriage closed along with it. Not so: Palomino, the uber-early-'90s institution of quasi-chain gloss is still alive and kicking out Jon Secada on stereo. Its happy hour is crowded, populated almost entirely by folks who work in the skyscraper -- which makes you wonder why more skyscrapers don't have third-floor bars.

True confession: I used to lift weights when I was in high school, and would get amped up to the rhythms of Living Colour. Remember Corey Glover in a muscle-hugging Body Glove singlet? Unfortunately, I do. But Vernon Reid was a wicked guitarist, and Glover could sing. On their most popular album, Vivid, was a reggae-ish track called "Solace of You." I adore that song, but hadn't heard it in years -- until last night at Palomino.

Other than that, people don't go to Palomino to be surprised, and bartender Tom Karich's favorite drink to make, a mint julep, couldn't have been more straightforward. "It's a great summer drink," remarked Karich. "I like bourbon, and the mint just enhances the flavor." The description matched the effect, and sent me home happy.

 
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