Q&A: Cole Apodaca and Todd Walker of No More Heroes
Need a laidback gathering place that’s one part vintage charm, one part East Coast cool and one part connoisseur cocktails? No worries: No More Heroes has you covered.
Partners Cole Apodaca and Todd Walker came up with a remarkably simple idea – serve quality drinks at a fair price – and opened seven months ago. (The bar’s name is a reference to a Stranglers’ song.)
Successful execution requires the right energy (check) and solid experience (check). The Santa Fe, New Mexico natives both spent time at Ysabel and Laurel Hardware, then followed their passion to pour. They tend bar three or four nights per week.
Creative programming is another strength and, this month, they are hosting pop-up holiday entertainment called Christmassy as F*ck. Stop by for an eggnog with cognac, a festive mojito or a frozen hot chocolate. You can also catch nightly Bad Santa comedy, caroling, North Pole dancers, a snow machine and more.
Enticements from the regular menu include: Long Tall Sally (Ketel One, cucumber Dolin Chambéry, yellow Chartreuse, matcha, lavender bitters and honey) and Pretty in Pink (white acai-steeped Nolet’s Gin, lychee and grapefruit topped with Gruet Rosé bubbles).
And stay tuned: a NMH kitchen is slated to open in January. Weekend party brunches, anyone?
Meanwhile, we heard more about the bar’s offerings from Cole and Todd.
Q What makes NMH unique?
A We wanted this place to be an everyone-welcome kind of bar – like a Cheers – it’s comfortable, it’s not over the top, it’s not bougie, just a good, solid neighborhood bar.
Q Tell me about your bar program.
A We wanted to offer really good quality for the price. It’s always changing and we try to have fun with it. We’ve done frozen drinks, seasonal cocktails, sangria, weekly margarita specials.
Also, being from Santa Fe, we like spicy food and drinks so we usually offer three or four spicy cocktail options. We also make our own spicy bitters in-house. We sous-vide some of our cocktails as well and use sous-vide for pepper infusions. The fresh fruit is all blended, rested and aged in-house. We do our own thing but try to keep it as simple as possible.
Q How about music?
A We want this to be a place where you can play cribbage and dominoes early in the evening and have a more fast-paced bar later at night. There is an ’80s night and a ’90s night. The DJs (vinyl and digital) bring a different funk to it. They mix it up constantly and they take requests. It gets pretty turned up – we have people dancing on the couches at night.
Q Do you have a typical customer?
A It’s pretty diverse, which is exactly what we wanted – straight, gay, singles, couples, younger, older. We definitely have a lot of regulars.
Q And your favorite drink?
A Cole: The Well Mannered Frivolity (Del Maguey Vida mezcal sous-vide with banana, Punt e Mes vermouth, Campari and spiced chocolate bitters).
Todd: Mezcal neat or frozen Irish coffee.
Q What’s something you hadn’t anticipated?
A That we need a kitchen, people want to eat.