When Phil Han opened Dooby’s in 2013, he had grand plans for the adjoining 4 W. Madison Street. The small, garden-level room would be an incubator for entrepreneurs—craftspeople, clothing designers, bakers, restaurateurs—appropriately called the Hatch. His friend and fellow Gilman alum Dylan Salmon launched the concept with his eponymous Oyster Cellar the following year.
With his new bar Sugarvale, Han has fully realized his vision. The 35-seat space—a burgundy vinyl-upholstered church pew along one wall, a communal table and a dark wood bar—is meant for grazing and drinking. Lori Yanke’s menu is focused on house-cured charcuterie, cheeses and tartines, while the bar offers four cocktail selections and an unsurprising list of inexpensive wines by the glass. The handful of reserve wines for discriminating drinkers may hint at Han’s potential audience—Mount Vernon neighbors who might want to step out midweek, and who, in fact, might be closer to his parents’ age than the kids perched on high stools over at Dooby’s, glued to their laptops by day, toasting artisanal cocktails and craft beers by night. The no-reservations policy means you take your chances, but we have high hopes that Sugarvale will hit the sweet spot. 4 W. Madison St., 410-609-3162.