Adam Dodworth is hoping the Copper Kettle will be to Moscow Mules what Cliff’s Lounge is to Kamikazes and Shark Water.
The new bar, which opened Sept. 3 at 1320 O St., features around 30 craft mules to go along with an ample craft beer and liquor selection.
Each mule is served -- as it should be -- in a 100 percent copper mug.
“A lot of places use aluminum and stainless steel,” said Dodworth, who manages the bar with Mackenzi Madison. “They don’t have the same alkaline reaction that you get with copper.”
Dodworth and Madison came to Copper Kettle from Chef Karim’s Mediterranean Grill (before it closed), where Dodworth was a chef and Madison was the marketing director. Dodworth’s resume also includes stints as BarVino, The Cask and Rich Bar & Lounge.
He is putting his chef skills to work in Copper Kettle’s kitchen, creating a menu of finger foods and desserts to complement the mules. The food menu features tacos, sliders (including a chicken and waffle one), brownies baked in copper pots and apple strudel.
“We’re hoping people will grasp our idea and give us a try,” Dodworth said.
He knows he has a challenge. Despite being on a busy section of O Street, the site has been home to several restaurants and bars over the last 20 years, including such fare as Indian, Italian and Mexican.
It’s most recent occupant, the sports-themed bar Crawford’s, lasted a year.
Before opening, the Copper Kettle underwent a makeover. Dodworth lightened up the 65-seat bar with white paint, white-ish subway tile and cedar planking.
“We wanted to something big and drastically change the appearance,” Dodworth said. “It used to so dark in here.”
The Copper Kettle is open from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Wednesday-Thursday from 4 p.m. to 1:30 am. Friday-Saturday. The bar is closed Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
* bread&cup, 440 N. Eighth St., has a new chef d’ cuisine in Devin O’Connell. Patrons will get a chance to meet him through a “supper club” on select Monday nights, when the restaurant usually is closed.
O’Connell will feature a prix fixe menu at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 14, Dec. 12, Jan. 16 and Feb. 13. Cost is $25 per person and includes an aperitif and glass of wine. For tickets, go to bread&cup’s Facebook page or eventbrite.com.
* I joined NET Radio’s Robert Goldberg and State Sen. Adam Morfeld in judging last week’s Curry Clash 2016 at Chez Hay. With more amateur and professional chefs on board, this year’s event, a fundraiser for the Asian Community and Cultural Center, was bigger and better than last year’s inaugural Clash.
The night’s big winner was amateur chef Sushma Agrawal, whom the Journal Star featured on its Nov. 2 food page. She not only won the amateur category, but also took the overall prize for her butter chicken curry with naan. You can find her winning recipe online at JournalStar.com/lifestyles/food-and-cooking.
Winning the chefs’ division was Honest Abe’s Erik Hustad, who prepared a curry braised pork belly in a coconut curry sauce. First place went to Bahnwich Cafe for its banh mi sandwiches (chicken or tofu) in the casual dining category.