Sarah Maillet's Bar Association

Sarah Maillet co-owns 815 Cocktails & Provisions in Manchester. It’s a speakeasy, which recalls the days of Prohibition and is designed with a comfortable elegance in mind. Maillet is also an award-winning tattooed model, who recently returned from a photo shoot in Iceland. In both careers her job is to work in settings that might distract the eye but still provide the focus of attention. She succeeds.

Photo by David Mendelsohn

In her own words:

  • I got my first tattoo was when I was 21 or so — the traditional tribal lower-back tattoo. All I knew at the time was that I just wanted one. I didn’t know anything about style or quality, but I quickly learned my lesson.
  • We all know tattoos are forever, so find a great artist and do it right the first time.
  • I was crowned as the first Miss Boston Ink in 2012. The contest continues to be held at the Boston Tattoo Convention every year. The contestants are judged on tattoos, personality, poise, overall style and presence. You can now find me at the judges’ table.
  • I’ve strived to change the taboo that follows heavily tattooed women. I might not be the one to break the stigma, but I can certainly help pave the way.
  • I like to think of all my artwork as one tattoo since it’s all cohesive and flows together thoughtfully.
  • I won’t be tattooing my other leg. I like the contrast.
  • I co-own 815 with Ryan McCabe. We were acquainted by three degrees of separation for years, but we were finally able to work together when I hired him to bartend with me at a place that I was managing.
  • Six months later, we were business partners.
  • A speakeasy is a secretive place selling alcohol, particularly in the time of Prohibition, when alcohol was illegal.
  • Look for a vintage phone booth on the second floor. Push the button and wait to be prompted for the password. I won’t spoil the rest.
  • The password changes, and is posted every Monday on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The password is valid for the week. If you’re not on social media, then feel free to tell us a knock-knock joke.
  • We cater to both fresh and experienced craft cocktail lovers and host new guests on a daily basis. We like everyone to feel welcomed. There isn’t a dress code.

Maillet’s 815 Cocktails & Provisions isn’t actually a private club, but the phonebooth entrance (left) and mystique does remind one of the days when booze was the controlled substance that was spurring gang wars and making smuggling (or bootlegging) a million dollar trade. The term “speakeasy” dates back at least to an 1844 British naval memoir. Now it just means a great place to get a drink and relax.

CREDIT: Hats off to Justin Cross for his assistance, patience and hard work. A shout-out to Nermina Kovacevic for her inspiration, introduction and damaged sense of humor. Lastly, compliments to the uber-talented Catherine Ursache for the hair and makeup job.

Categories: Q&A