The look: Monihan's owes its name to a speakeasy located in the hotel during Prohibition, but the bar's modern incarnation doesn't follow suit in its decor and feel. Large windows give you a nice view of Fourth Street, and the space has a cool, relaxed feel. The bar itself is located in the center of the room, allowing you access to drinks from just about any angle. It's not a large space, but seating is strategic and smart, and the windows keep the bar from feeling cramped.
The crowd: I arrived late in the evening and the crowd appeared to be Renaissance Savery Hotel guests enjoying one last drink before heading to their rooms. A few men sat at the bar and a few tables were filled. The crowd was all 30s and older, and a few of the patrons looked like the trip to the bar may have started as a business trip meeting and evolved into a social gathering.
The two drinks: For my first drink, bartender Monte Iles suggested The Capone, a drink that pays tribute to the Monihan's roots. The Capone is a blend of rye whiskey (Templeton Rye, when available), Grand Marnier and bitters, shaken, then topped with champagne for $7.50. It's a drink you can imagine Scarface ordering. The initial taste is chilly but the rye gives it a warming after-effect.
Next up was the Juicy Fruit, made with Absolut Ruby Red, orange and cranberry juices, and a lemon twist, served on the rocks for $6.50. It was a good cool-down drink after the warming effects of the Capone.
The grub: You can order food off the Bos (located inside the hotel) menu until 10 p.m., with a limited menu and appetizers served from 10 p.m.-midnight.
The verdict: Monihan's is close enough to the hustle and bustle of Court District to feel connected, but just far enough away to avoid noisy barhoppers. It's got a fun connection to the city's seedier past, but is stylish enough to fit in with the classier bars of today.