BiteClub, Healdsburg, Wine Bar/Cocktails

Duke’s Spirited Cocktails: Boozing up the Burg

New cocktail spot, Duke's Spirited Cocktails features seed to glass cocktails in Healdsburg

Interior of Duke's Spirited Cocktails in Healdsburg. Courtesy photo.
Interior of Duke’s Spirited Cocktails in Healdsburg. Courtesy photo.
Interior of Duke's Spirited Cocktails in Healdsburg. Photo Nat and Cody Gantz.
Interior of Duke’s Spirited Cocktails in Healdsburg. Photo Nat and Cody Gantz.

Move over tasting rooms, there’s a new cocktail bar in the Burg. Duke’s Spirited Cocktail Bar has opened at 111 Plaza St. on the Healdsburg Square.

Duke’s Spirited Cocktails in Healdsburg serves seed-to-glass cocktails in Sonoma County Wine Country. Heather Irwin

Keeping up the 90-year tradition of successive bars at the location (it was formerly John & Zeke’s, followed by the very short-lived Scout), cocktails are king, here, though ordering a well gin and tonic might get you a sidelong glance.

Duke’s is all about seasonal craft libations, aka farm-to-glass drinks that include herbs, fruit vinegars, fruit purees and top shelf artisan booze.  A couple examples: “Darling Nicki” ($11) includes Mezan Panama run, chai tea, Hamilton 151, Leopold’s Tart Cherry and Spirit Works Sloe Gin; “Rangpur More” ($11) with Opihr gin, rangpur lime shrub, pink peppercorn, saffron bitters and house tonic; or the “Barely Legal” ($12) with Charbay Meyer lemon vodka, Giffard Lychee, yuzu, lemon and grapefuit. I’m getting parched just writing this.

Afterglow cocktail at Duke's Spirited Cocktails in Healdsburg. Photo Wendy White
Afterglow cocktail at Duke’s Spirited Cocktails in Healdsburg. Photo Wendy White

Wine, beer and ciders are also on the menu for traditionalists, as well as non-alcoholic housemade sodas (burdock root beer, grapefruit) and teas. Don’t expect much in the way of food, because this is clearly a bar, and not a restaurant (and trust us, there’s no lack of dining options in Healdsburg), but small bites include pickled veggies, mixed nuts, chips and salsa and Noble Folk ice cream sandwiches. Open late, but no one under 21 allowed inside.

Duke's Spirited Cocktails in Healdsburg serves seed-to-glass cocktails in Sonoma County Wine Country. Heather Irwin
Duke’s Spirited Cocktails in Healdsburg serves seed-to-glass cocktails in Sonoma County Wine Country. Heather Irwin
Duke’s Spirited Cocktails in Healdsburg serves seed-to-glass cocktails in Sonoma County Wine Country. Heather Irwin
Duke’s Spirited Cocktails in Healdsburg serves seed-to-glass cocktails in Sonoma County Wine Country. Heather Irwin
Duke’s Spirited Cocktails in Healdsburg serves seed-to-glass cocktails in Sonoma County Wine Country. Heather Irwin

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14 thoughts on “Duke’s Spirited Cocktails: Boozing up the Burg

  1. I love exploring Hbg !!! When my SoCal and Napa fam visits, I take them to Hbg and boy they are extremely surprised that there is an upscale place in Sonoma County. Way to go Hbg keep it up and up!!!

  2. Makai,

    Indeed, it seems that you do not like nor appreciate people younger than yourself. Speaking for the young adults that grew up in healdsburg, I am very excited and grateful to make a passable living in the service industry. It beats packing prunes for minimum wage, by a long shot.

    I enjoyed my cocktail at Dukes very much. It was comfortable and the selection was spectacular. Their use of the space could not have been executed better, and I could not be more proud to see a group of young passionate locals that have been serving the community for a better part of a decade blossom into entrepreneurs!

    Keep up the good work guys (and gals)!

  3. Makai, not sure why you would single this place out over all the other places that make Healdsburg great like Single Thread, Shed, Campo Fina, Barndiva, Spoon bar, Willi’s, Ravenous, or Flying Goat coffee – AKA all the places I love to go to in Healdsburg. It’s not like Healdsburg was on anyone’s list for cheap eats or budget destinations. If you want to complain about expensive cocktails in Healdsburg, maybe you should blame all the wineries that are now charging for tastings. Or the jobs that new distilleries opening up in the area are creating. Or maybe blame the now closed Cyrus restaurant that put Healdsburg on the cocktail map with super seasonal cocktails and literally wrote the book on “Artisanal Cocktails”. Blame the building owner that sold John & Zeke’s… and it’s not like the place is gone, but I’m sure the people with families and snooty wine tasters are happy there isn’t a dive bar on the square. Either way, I’m pretty sure Healdsburg is still “quaint”, but it’s going to have to adjust as people pour more money into the town just like Sebastopol, Greenville, Windsor, Geyserville and the rest of Sonoma County.

    1. Greenville? No such town in Sonoma County that I can find.

      Do you mean Forestville? If so, I don’t see a lot of obvious money pouring in …

  4. Makai,
    No body knows how Healdsburg has changed more than our family, fifth generation Sonoma county and Healdsburg.
    There are definitely behaviors and attitudes which grind on old Healdsburg locals and are not of the old school – not gracious, kind or delightful to be around.
    What you suggest falls within this category.
    The people that own Dukes, I am not one of them-nor am I close to them, are hard working, young dreamers who have put it all on the line to try to make their dream of remaining in the county and owning a business a reality.
    You may choose to personally forgo a visit to Dukes and that. of course, is completely acceptable. Though by writing what you have, you have established yourself as one whom you purport to distain. As an old local, you are the problem, we would love to remove.

    1. “remove” I decided from the over gentrified snobbish Healdsburg ‘before’ they moved in with their entitled attitudes and overpriced the locals out of the DT area. Single Tree, Lonnies, Fitch Mountain Eddy’s, the original J & Z’s, and when you could listen to the music in the Plaza in the evening and watch the sunset over the Dry Creek Valley mountains before the ugly hotels now stand!

      YOU! are the problem “old local” for allowing this to happen!

    2. Yeah, I agree. These are longtime Healdsburgers who have worked at several restaurants in town, and are well-known, highly respected young folks who have a dream. They’re making these incredible cocktails with so much fun and creativity. It’s a lovely spot to go have a cocktail.

      How sad to begrudge a new generation of locals who are opening new businesses that appeal to a new demographic.

      Keeping things the same, just because that’s how it always was is sad. I was at the “new” John & Zeke’s a month or so ago, and it was fabulous, but I’m not gonna take my parents, or an out of towner there. There’s room for everyone. Stop hating.

      1. Heather, I’m not “hating”, simply stating my feelings after again seeing this once quaint and affordable town over price those who made it what it was, and send them packing for more affordable living. I know what they’re doing, they’re catering to the ‘current’ demographic, but not the locals, and by locals, I mean having lived there and the surrounding areas for over 30+ years. As for the “new” John & Zeke’s, that is a taste of the genuine localism. If you’re afraid to take someone there, that’s your issue, not the locals who would welcome all.

        Btw Heather, you know Ralph Tingle from Bistro Ralph, talk to him about what his next venture is ‘in the making’ on the north end of town, it will be catering to the ‘locals’ and Families.

        1. Thanks Makai. I do know about Ralph’s new venture, and I can’t wait to write more about it. Re: John and Zeke’s…I do feel like that’s a locals place, and I respect that. I would hate to see a bunch of drunk millenials in there after a wine weekend, because locals should have some spots that aren’t ridiculously overpriced.

          I suspect we’re closer in philosophy than you might suspect. I’m a local too, and I get it.

          In fact, I just heard a Healdsburger say yesterday that he was the only “resident” on his street, and the rest of the homes were AirB&Bs and the like. Now that’s something to be mad about.

          I’d move to Cloverdale in a heartbeat if it wasn’t so dang hot.

  5. Will absolutely NOT support nor recommend this ‘trendy’ and over gentrified Healdsburg establishment. John and Zeke’s should still be in this location, but the current snobs and upscale clientele who frequent the DT area have out priced and destroyed this once quaint hamlet of Northern So Co. Please do the same and stay away.

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