It’s one of those early Spring-like evenings you sometimes get in February here in Pinehurst. Still, the fire pits on the patio of the new North & South Bar at The Manor are flickering as patrons lounge in the soft seating, either holding their drinks in hand and sipping occasionally, or settling the glasses on the nearside table.
The North & South Bar is most definitely Pinehurst. But it’s also about what’s in the bar. For all the vintage décor recalling Pinehurst’s historic championship past, mixed in and around the comfortable and contemporary cocktail bar setting is a menu of spirits unlike any in the area. Not surprisingly, one guest orders a Macallan 12 Year – neat, of course. Another asks to try the Whistle Pig Rye.
Inside, another waits as the bartender, clad in a pressed white dress shirt complemented by black tie and black suspenders, mixes the North & South’s Mahogany Old Fashioned. It’s been, as the barkeep Colin says, the most popular cocktail since the North & South opened a few days ago. With The Clover 4-Year bourbon, chocolate, and orange and cherry bitters, it is the North & South’s spin on the traditional Old Fashioned, which, of course, is also available.
So, too, is Pinehurst Brewing Co.’s New Golden Age, an American blonde ale from, literally, just down the hill.
Traditional Manhattans and sours are on the menu, but so are the North & South’s new-age stylings on the classics. There are more than 10 in-house innovations incorporating the bar’s vast selections, with more to come, and others to be included into the rotation. A Pinehurst-specific Woodford Reserve blend is being barreled in Kentucky, due to arrive by Spring.
The North & South Bar’s opening completes the nearly year-long renovation of Pinehurst Resort’s youngest hotel – at a mere 97 years – The Manor. Begun in early 2019, The Manor and its 43 guest rooms have been transformed. All of the inn’s interior has been completely renovated, with only 15 percent of the original interior framing remaining.
The lone original component to The Manor following the renovation is its fabled exterior structure of the unique Kellastone, a special stucco-style building material that was new to the era and known for its permanence.
That era, though, lives on the North & South Bar, which features nearly 70 styles of bourbons, whiskeys, ryes and Scotch. The old-school charm and classic style of golf is everywhere a guest looks. Vintage advertising and photos pay homage to the historic North & South Amateur Championship, played at Pinehurst since 1901, and known as the longest consecutively running amateur championship in America.
Look up. The N&S Bar’s signature design element is the dramatic ceiling, with an illustration of the routing of Donald Ross’ first four courses at Pinehurst. That illustration was conceived in 1922, not long before The Manor originally opened.
Fittingly, jazz music from the period drifts lightly from the lounge seating inside to the expansive patio and its wraparound benches circling the fire pits outside.
The mood is relaxed. Chill. Meanwhile, Colin turns to craft a Brooklyn. He had made the guy a Manhattan before. This round, it was time to try something new.