Dram & Draught just had its grand opening downtown, and its downstairs exposed bar “lets you get in on the action.” Located at 109 Market St., the business also includes an upstairs lounge area outfitted with long wooden tables and comfy window seats.
The Wilmington location is the first Dram & Draught on the coast and the business's fifth location, with all establishments located in North Carolina.
Wilmington was not new to owner Kevin Barrett, who had lived in town in the 2000s. An industry veteran, Barrett decided he wanted to stay in the business but was ready to strike out on his own. After opening other locations in the Triangle, Barrett set his sights on Wilmington. “I was familiar with the area, knew the city and felt like the business could fit its vibe,” he said.
Dram & Draught is ready to take on even the best cocktail aficionados.
Its menu specializes in custom cocktails, whiskeys from all over the world and a selection of sparkling, red and white wines plus craft beers.
Seasonal cocktails are also available, and each location offers unique versions thought up by its own individual staff. With the goal of creating a true upscale neighborhood bar, Barrett relies on the experience of general manager Jeffrey Taylor and his team.
Taylor came from the Raleigh location and was an easy pick because of his knowledge of the brand. “We knew he could create a fantastic team,” said Edie Alexander, director of marketing and events. “Jeffrey knows how to create an engaging space and an open dialog between the bartenders and customers,” she said. “He and his staff will know who comes in the door and already have a sense of what they want.”
One of the smaller of the Dram & Draught locations, the downtown locale is not lacking in its options. Working towards getting a full capacity of over 200 whiskey and gin variations to line its walls, Taylor is on the hunt for “collecting the most fun whiskey varieties around and the coolest options we can get a hold of.”
Dram and Draught looks forward to immersing itself in the community by hosting events and partnering with arts organizations and nonprofits. Already, Taylor is signed up for an upcoming cocktail competition to raise money for a local historical society.
The cocktail lounge is open Monday through Wednesday from 3 p.m. to midnight; Thursday from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Friday and Saturday from noon to 2 a.m.; and Sunday from noon to midnight.