With free parking, an enormous bar, and indoor and outdoor seating, Atomic Liquors has few downtown competitors when it comes to throwing a party. But the joint’s spaciousness wouldn’t mean a thing if you couldn’t get a delicious cocktail or locally brewed beer when you want it. Atomic has that all sewn up, too. No matter the size of the crowd, friendly bartenders speedily serve up everything from Dark and Stormys to Tenaya Creeks at prices that all in tow can swing. Cheers: The Strawberry Fields ($10) is a mouth-watering concoction of gin, Campari, ginger, basil, and fresh strawberry that will have you channeling John Lennon all night.
The desert in summer may seem hot enough, but cocktails with jalapeño, chipotle and shishito range from subtle to “Whew!” Atomic Liquors’ Smoked Melon has an addictive, sweet heat from Mezcal and habanera, but splashes of melon and beer keep things refreshing. On the second level of the Chandelier Bar, the Devil May Care is a refined, fiery version of the Bloody Mary: Hangar One chipotle vodka and house-made mix are kicked up with Sriracha gastrique, rosemary and dill. Delicious, but do yourself a favor and ask for a glass of water when you order.