Kicking back with a brandy seems like an old fashioned way to imbibe. But brandy, Cognac and Armagnac appeal to a variety of spirits aficionados, and the cocktail world still relies heavily on distilled-wine spirits.
Whether it’s a knot of businessmen knocking back tequila, birthday celebrators pounding Jagermeister or wandering bartenders buying rounds of Fernet Branca or Jameson for their pals, the downing of shots remains a nightly ritual. Shots have grown up a bit, however.
The beverage alcohol category gets more competitive every year, making it harder for restaurants and bars to stand out with unique offerings. Chain operators that have to roll out their offerings across multiple locations and concepts face particular challenges keeping up.
Where the stars of location and lack of competition align, late-night dining can create a destination niche. Operators that keep their kitchens open can attract an underserved potential customer base of fellow restaurant and bar employees, among other guests looking for a late-night bite and beverage.