Alley Twenty Six owner Shannon Healy talks about the rise of her bar in Durham city center and the excitement of being a finalist for a James Beard Award.
being a cocktail bar and being a bartender, you kind of have to write the menu and figure out what kind of story you want to tell with your menu. It was a James Beard award that was a finalist in the category, which is exciting for us for several reasons. A had no idea, like us, people didn’t ask, how did this happen? I’m like, I don’t know, we just, I just found out. Um, we were the first in North Carolina to make the semifinals in this category, let alone now. We are finalists. So I’ll take that as a win, by the way, we don’t expect to go much further, but we’re going to Chicago in June for the party and you know, it’s gonna be fun to mix and mingle along with other people who are also in the beard business and well, we are incredibly proud to be able to carry the flag of North Carolina, as being the first in this category from North Carolina, we can represent other outstanding bar programs in the state when I heard no one else had it yet. I was like, what? How is it possible? Because there are great bars in North Carolina. We are therefore proud of it. We might be the first, but we’re also proud to be able to represent, you know, a cocktail culture in North Carolina that we believe in. I like to make drinks that you want to drink like you and I don’t mean I’m not talking about you in general, but if, but also, I mean you specifically, if you’re the person sitting across from you. one of the bartenders here, well, we’ll try to ask you questions, you can just order something good too, and we’re proud of what we serve on the menu. But if you have any questions the whole idea of knowledgeable services so we know what questions to ask to get answered and you can tell me things you actually like and I can direct you to something you go love, what I like to make the drink you were, wow, it’s delicious. How did you do that? I’m like, well, I cheated, you told me what you liked and I put it in a drink, you know, like, I heard you say things you liked and you You don’t have to do, you don’t You don’t need to know how to make a drink or you don’t need to know what you want. But if you’re open-minded and willing to share things with me that you like, then I can either direct you to a great cocktail on the menu or do something for you that I know you’ll love because you have already told me what you love. Mmh. Together