Okay, let’s set the scene: we’re walking down Main Street, Southampton, black mini shoulder bags hanging between us. We’ve just finished dinner a few doors down, arms linked and chatting about that mini Dachshund we saw enjoying an evening stroll with its owner. What’s the next stop? You ask. A little night cap? I suggest. Could it be a warm July night, a moody October weekend– doesn’t matter because you know this bar is just as delicious in the summer months as it is on a biting winter night.
The charm of Dopo Argento hides away just beyond its darling entrance, and inside, behind the bar, works Cristopher Anchia, Dopo’s Bar manager whose energy is larger than life. With 10 years experience bartending, 3 of which have been with the Dopo Group, there’s no doubt Cris knows his way around this corner bar. In one of my many conversations with Cris, he told me he couldn’t pick a favorite drink from his menu, “ I like experimenting and creating new drinks so I enjoy that process.” Although Cris doesn’t have a favorite, I must say, it’s not hard for me to pick mine, hands down: the Gin Lane. Made with your choice of Gin, a medley of the juice from pineapple, cucumber, apple and lemon, the first taste is slightly tart, never overtly sweet and always perfectly refreshing.
Cris, who is originally from Costa Rica and moved here with his family in 1999, is always ready to change up the music once the dinner crowd has left. He told me, “I want people to feel welcomed when they come to Argento. Whether it’s your first time or you’re a regular, I want everyone to feel at home.” There’s no doubt there’s a chair and a drink for everyone at his bar. Of all the wild stories he must have from behind the bar, Cris recalled to me a gem, the time he performed a magic trick for actor Will Ferrell while bartending, “afterward we all had fun dancing to good music. It was one of those epic nights.”
For every time I’ve enjoyed an evening at Dopo Argento, I’ve been greeted by a few regular personalities, and some new faces looking to enjoy the restaurant’s refreshing vibe and Cris’s talent behind the bar. To me, Dopo has the perfect formula for date night: romantically dim lighting across the whole restaurant and four window seats adjacent from the bar seating nestled inside large bay windows that overlook outside passersby– think Edward Hopper’s New York meets Hemingway in Paris.
When not behind the bar at Argento, Cris likes to support the other businesses in the area, his new go-to being El Verano on the corner of Jobs and Windmill. If you check out Dopo Argento make sure to try the Gin Lane and let me know what you think. See you there!