SIP serves up luxe vibe

By Amanda Stevenson, photography submitted

SIP Cocktails, found at 250 West Main Street in downtown Greenwood across the street from Fresh Pots Coffee Bar, is Greenwood’s newest spot for enjoying drinks in a luxe setting. In fact, it is so luxurious, you may temporarily forget you’re in Johnson County.

Co-owner Dan Slater and his business partner, Rick Payne, have been associated with night clubs, saloons, fine-dining restaurants and craft cocktail bars in the past, and they consider SIP the best culmination of all those experiences.

Slater, who lives in and appreciates Greenwood, explained, “We wanted to create something that made you feel like you weren’t in Greenwood, instead a Chicago or New York feel with a retro, sixties vibe.”

Open since February 1, SIP has been steadily serving up a comfortable, yet modern atmosphere for socializing while providing a variety of unique cocktails with creative twists. The space itself offers creative vantage points with quiet rooms off to the side and large, plush couches in the main area and booths tucked along the far wall. The walls are adorned with bright, playful art, golden mirrors and glowing words of affirmation.

“It’s a great place to pick your spot,” Slater said. “You can socialize over here or make a dance floor up here or sit at the bar and be marveled by our wonderful, personable staff and service.”

Although not a nightclub, SIP’s trendy environment is made for anyone who wants to dress up a notch and treat themselves, a partner or friends to a night out. A nice shirt with jeans is a good guide for guys to follow, and a dress or skirt/blouse combo is perfect (but not required) for the ladies. It’s also an Instagram-worthy spot for visitors to wear their latest, funky-fun footwear.

“We’re more of a going out vibe” Slater said. “Go have some good drinks, listen to some good music
and dance, if you feel like it. That’s what you’ll find here.”

With a name like SIP, the essence of the space suggests a focus on the experience of savoring and enjoying drinks with innate attention to quality ingredients and craftsmanship.

“We take a lot of pride in our menu,” said Slater, who currently manages six SIP employees. “That’s one thing that’s extremely important to me — good quality with good service.”

Their most popular libations include their signature pineapple Eddy, a ten-day infusion of fresh pineapple and Deep Eddy vodka, strained, shaken and served over ice. For nostalgia’s sake, don’t miss the sweet, push-pop martini. And yes, a push-pop martini tastes just like the sherbert treat from our childhoods — but without the stick. Also, be sure to try the blackberry bourbon sidecar and the peanut butter old fashioned before leaving the room.

However, according to Slater, a good old fashioned is still king.

“We do a whistlepig old fashioned — called the piggyback, made from six-year rye with barrel-aged maple syrup, orange bitters and a whiskey-soaked cherry. A beautiful looking cocktail.”

SIP rounds out its impressive drink menu with extensive beer, wine by the glass or bottle, mule cocktails and spirit-free mocktail selections, too. The Pike Road chardonnay and Trumpeter malbec are also great options.

SIP’s bar manager, Jason McClain, has been in the business 24 years and takes his work, and SIP’s service, seriously.

“I’ve been to a lot of places, and I know what an end product is supposed to look like,” McClain said. “I like and take pride in this end product.”

Food options are limited but robust and include various charcutier plates curated by Indy’s own Eat Surreal, an Indianapolis-based producer of dairy-free, nut-free and gluten-free spreads. The plates include assorted cured meats, crisp crackers and delectable pickles served with a choice of one of the homemade, smooth spreads.

Guests cannot go wrong with the spicy, pimento spread, a sunflower seed-based spread with freshly grated carrots, garlic and red habaneros.

They also offer other spreads called “amazeballs” for a spicy reason. For example, the everything-amazeball spread boasts smoked carrots, chopped green onions and is topped with everything bagel seasoning. The pizza-amazeball spread offers sundried tomatoes, pepperoncini, mild banana peppers and is mixed with all the spices and herbs typically found in pizza. And if you’re feeling adventurous, the bloody mary-amazeball spread is for you with horseradish and relish mixed with eight-day distillery gin, tomato jam and topped with tajin and celery seed.

Every Thursday — also known as Friday Eve, enjoy $10 martinis, half-bottle wine specials and a $2 Bud/Bud Lite. Then, on the first Friday of every month, show off your best or worst dance moves — no one is judging, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., with a DJ spinning hits and encouraging dancing.

“It’s just something this area hasn’t had,” Slater said. “Everything around here is either restaurant or brewery driven with pizza and chicken wings, and we wanted to be something way on the other end.”

SIP can also host private events, corporate functions and parties. They can accommodate smaller groups or up to 90 guests when reserving the full venue. When hosting an event, inquire about the “fireplace room,” an intimate area with a white, majestic fireplace, dark walls and warm lighting.

“I’ve just liked everything Greenwood is doing to improve the area with the new streets, sidewalks and streetlights. It all looks very pretty,” said Slater, who expects the new condominiums in downtown Greenwood will help boost all the growing businesses in the area.

Slater also noted the continued growth of Johnson County in Center Grove and Franklin to support future business, as well. And with SIP not too far off the I-65 Greenwood/Main Street exit, it’s in an excellent location with convenient access for people coming from other parts of the county and Indianapolis.

“It’s the perfect location to drop something a little more ‘downtowny’ without having to go downtown (Indianapolis),” Slater said with a laugh.

SIP is open Thursdays from 6 p.m.-midnight; Fridays and Saturdays, 6 p.m.-1 a.m.; and is closed Sunday through Wednesday. Reservations are not accepted. First come, first served.