New bar, meeting place ready for consideration
By Trish Riley, GLOB Guest Correspondent
Lynn Dirk and I attended the soft opening of Cry Baby's and I thought you might like some info and pix.
Cry Baby's is the new iteration of the entertainment spot on the corner of University Avenue and South Main St., most recently called Sweet Mel's. Fully renovated and reinvented by the team that brought the innovative Afternoon and Afterdark restaurants to us. Thanks to Grace Glennonm her partner Kyle Spor, Culinary Institute of America - trained chef Austin Abbott and investor Jason Shuster, the new bar and meeting place offers the benefit of a bar to their growing empire of Gainesville entertainment spots. Opening at 5:00 every day, Cry Baby's serves bar-style food and drink late into the evening closing at 2:00 a.m.
Judging by the crowd of sophisticated young creatives pressing at the bar and lining the outdoor tables, Cry Baby's looks to be a successful venture for the team.
While the food and drink menus of all three are very spare, each item is unique and remarkably delectable. I found that to be a welcome and refreshing change from typical Gainesville fare. True to form, Austin has prepared absolutely delectable taste treats for the bar menu at Cry Baby's.
We tried the wedge salad, a quarter head of iceberg lettuce dressed with a creamy dressing, dusted with earthy-flavored sage and garnished with plump chunks of bacon. We included a "bucket" of juicy traditional fried chicken - four pieces for two hungry customers to share. The entree was complemented with an array of tangy sauces and thin cut fries.
Just as with the tasty food, the Cry Baby team pushes the limits of flavor in the drink department at as well.
We ordered a beautiful clear pink gin negroni, a locally brewed beer and the best, a mockutail named after a beautiful Florida springs pictorial on Instagram, Summertime Somewhere. The drink was a lime cordial muddled with mint and soda - beautiful and delicious, just like the inspirational photos and the artist behind them (full disclosure): my daughter Rachel Rector, who is best friends and former college roommate of Cry Baby's owner, Grace.
Florida springs pictorial on Instagram, Summertime Somewhere
Gainesville is fortunate that this Gainesville native and her team decided to showcase their culinary talents here for us in her hometown!