SUGAR MONK, West Harlem, NYC, a salon dedicated to the art of mixology. Opening Spring 2016.
Who we are
Ektoras Binikos, mixologist and artist; Simon Jutras, commercial photographer and designer of interiors & furniture. Together we will operate Sugar Monk (in West Harlem, NYC), an intimate venue where art, mixology, and alchemy will combine to transcend the senses and elate the most discriminating palates.
This is a very special moment in Harlem’s history, and the perfect time to open Sugar Monk.
With our Indiegogo crownfownding campaigne we aim to raise approximately $50,000 to cover legal fees, liquor license, design, lease acquisition & security deposit, architect’s fee, and construction permits;
Harlem today is culturally richer, more diverse and hip than ever before – its neighborhoods never so sought-after by visitors since the Harlem Renaissance. This is Harlem’s comeback, full of flavors and surprises.
We have a vision of a forward-thinking and sophisticated place where neighborhood residents, cocktail aficionados, foreign visitors, and the arts community will all gather. At Sugar Monk, art will meet mixology.
Binikos’ ingenious art cocktails are created from the most unusual elements and thrill the most discerning palates. The drinks will be made with the freshest ingredients, the finest spirits, and an array of artisanal bitters, infusions, and extracts, all beautifully presented.
We are very excited to join Harlem’s vibrant and historical community alongside local legends such as The Apollo Theater, Studio Museum of Harlem, Minton’s, Sylvia’s, and The Schomburg Center. Harlem is a unique and culturally rich neighborhood and we are honored to be a part of it, as both residents and business owners.
More About Us
Master mixologist Ektoras Binikos has been head mixologist at the 3-star restaurants Aureole and Oceana, and at the renowned Michael’s New York. Most recently, he was the mixologist and managing partner at the 2ndFloor on Clinton,an exclusive cocktail lounge on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. His unique talents and managerial skills have ensured a solid track record of success for the past 3 years.
2ndFloor on Clinton is already famous – it features in countless guide books worldwide and has earned great reviews from Yelp,Google and Foursquare. It is listed as one of New York’s Best Speakeasy Bars by the Business Insider, the Thrillist, and Yelp. (The ownership of the building has recently changed and 2nd Floor on Clinton closed on July 29, 2015)
Binikos has been featured in several publications, including NY Magazine, Time Out NY, The Daily News, The San Francisco Chronicles, Wine Enthusiasts, Village Voice, Manhattan Magazine, and Paper Magazine.
In February of 2007, world-renowned performance artist MARINA ABRAMOVICand the New York GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM commissioned Binikos to create a birthday cocktail for Abramovic’s 60th Birthday Celebration Gala at the museum.
LIQUID HYMNS TO THE POIGNANT MUSIC OF J.S.BACH
On June 27th 2012, he collaborated with the acclaimed Icelandic violinist Hlif Sigurjons in a live performance at the 2nd Floor on Clinton. During Sigurjóns’ candlelight performance of the seminal Partita II in D minor for solo violin, Binikos served the audience five unusual spirited infusions, each corresponding to a particular movement of the piece. The alchemical potions were spring-water based, infused with herbs, bark, extracts, spices, dry berries, leaves, roots, tree resin, alcoholic spirits, and bitters. Binikos’ inspiration for these infusions came from his narrative interpretation of the movements as well as his emotional response to each.
In 2012 Binikos was commissioned by Absolut vodka to create a cocktail,The Absolut Kelly (influenced by the ideas of Joseph Beuys) for the inaugural event of the Sean Kelly Gallery in New York.
He strongly believes that mixology is alchemy, the mysterious process by which inspiration is transmuted into a liquid creation. It is the chemistry of the most subtle kind which gives the mixologist the ability to transform base spirits into noble elixirs of life.
Gary Regan, an authority in mixology, noted cocktailian and author of numerous books said: “I wish there were more bartenders like him, but that would be impossible. I am so impressed with all the thoughts that go into his creations. He’s one of a kind. And we’re lucky enough to be around to witness his genius.”
Simon Jutras has a very diverse creative background. His keen interest in architecture & design has led him to create interiors and design furniture for numerous private clients. He has also been a successful New York photographer running his own company Simon Jutras Photography (www.simonphotography.com) for over 20 years, with clients including Calvin Klein, Nine West, Tod’s, Mark Fisher, Coach, Diego Della Valle, Tommy Hilfiger, and Guess, among many others. His work has been published in numerous books and magazines. He is currently working on an art book with Ektoras Binikos, centered on mixology inspired by various artists.
Ektoras Binikos and his partner Simon Jutras will offer their guests a magnificent selection of original cocktails for the ultimate sensory experience, together with a distinctive selection of classic top-notch cocktails – gems revisited by Binikos – and an exciting selection of New & Old World wines, a premium assortment of spirits, craft beers and small dishes as distinct and forward-thinking as Binikos’ drinks. Besides glorious cocktails, we will offer eclectic live music and amazing performances on selected nights.
Our management skills, enthusiasm, creativity, and passion, combined with our artistic sensibilities, will help us create a unique gathering place where alchemy and art offer a transcendent experience for its guests.
Here’s to creating art in a glass!