Magazine article The New Yorker

Food & Drink

Magazine article The New Yorker

Food & Drink

Article excerpt

FOOD & DRINK

BAR TAB LUMOS

90 W. Houston St. (646-692-9866)

Below a hat shop in SoHo, through a door marked only by the Chinese characters for "tavern," this speakeasy engages nightly in a quiet revolution. At first glance, it's a precise study in standard downtown cocktail lounge: Edison bulbs light an elegant white-marble counter while vested bartenders chat with patrons. But, on closer inspection, the bar's shelves are stocked with bottles, casks, and mason jars of baijiu --high-proof Chinese spirits notorious for their umami-heavy funk. Lumos hopes to hook New Yorkers on what is, by volume, the most imbibed liquor in the world. (1.3 billion people can't be wrong.) "We don't want this to be a place just to party," the co-founder Qifan Li said on a recent Tuesday. …

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