The local grocery store has historically been a comforting, familiar place, where townsfolk know they are likely to run into their neighbors. The A&P Bar in Woodstock, a global cocktail bar that offers snacks and a full menu in an old A&P grocery store, is not too far from that description — but with a twist.
The mission of business partners Pierre Luc-Moeys, his wife Nicole Paturel, and Gemma D’Entrone is to bring people together and to set a scene that reimagines comfort. The menu features comfort foods like an elevated shepherd’s pie or a local grass-fed burger with whiskey sauce, and less common fare like Flammkuchen (a German-style pizza), and desserts featuring items like popcorn-flavored ice cream that, Luc-Moeys explains, evokes the experience of going to the cinema.
The team chose to set the bar/restaurant outside of the usual high-traffic areas, in a location that’s tucked away. “Once inside, you could be in Manhattan, Amsterdam, Milan, Cape Town,” Luc-Moeys says. “It feels like you could be anywhere.”
The space is layered, with ground-floor dining as well as a mezzanine. Designed by Paturel, A&P features cozy banquette seating, rustic wooden tables, and exposed ductwork that lends the space a gritty, industrial feel, while the enormous shelves of liquor behind the bar climb impressively high. The interior design showcases the work of local Hudson Valley artisans, carpenters, woodworkers, and designers.
Mixologist Carl Bester and Sommelier Lio Mag are right at home behind a 30-foot bar with what Luc-Moeys describes as an “endless” array of spirits. The cocktail list includes both the basics — like Cosmopolitans and Manhattans — and Bester’s innovative concoctions, which feature surprising ingredients like homemade rooibos bitters and blackberry syrup. “These contrasts complement each other. We have the comforts, but [we] tease guests to try new things, which keeps it exciting for us,” Luc-Moeys explains. Even the wine list stays on-brand, with popular California Cabs, for instance, next to an obscure wine made by a farmer in the mountains of Italy. “We have the standards, plus an array of wines people have never heard of.”
From their ambiance to their cocktails, entrees, and desserts, Luc-Moeys says, “We pair ingredients that people wouldn’t usually see together, but we create something recognizable from it.”
A&P Bar is open for dinner and drinks from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. Monday–Thursday, 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Friday, 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday, and for brunch from 11 a.m.–12 a.m. on Sunday.
83 Mill Hill Rd, Woodstock; 845.684.5395; www.aandpbar.com