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Vena's Fizz House Could Become Full Bar

Co-owners Johanna and Steve Corman are considering the evening addition of alcohol to their mocktails.

Vena's Fizz House, Portland.
Vena's Fizz House, Portland.
Adam H. Callaghan

Johanna and Steve Corman, owners of Portland's premier "natural soda bar and mixology shop" Vena's Fizz House, revealed in July that they were applying for a BYOB liquor license for private, after-hours events only. This week, though, the Cormans told Eater they've changed tacks: They are now thinking about becoming a full bar.

What would this mean for mocktail fans, though?

Nothing untoward, it turns out.

Johanna said despite its popularity, the bar simply doesn't get a ton of traffic from the non-alcoholic crowd once evening sets in. Thus, one idea the couple is toying with is to remain entirely alcohol-free during the day, and then, in classic Speakeasy-fashion (perhaps a switch will be thrown, curtains drawn, sign flipped), convert to a full bar at around 7 p.m. One name she is toying with for the Fizz House's alter ego is Vena's Vengeance, also the name of a mocktail served in-house. Johanna also suggested their full bar may remain open only until 11 p.m., rather than the last call of 1 a.m. allowed in Maine.

The line-up of mocktails and sodas for which the bar is known could even carry over to the full bar service, and a choice of spirits could be made available for blending with the various drinks. Barman Steve could suggest, for example, that rum pairs best with a coconut-forward mocktail like the Snowball, but also provide back-up suggestions. Johanna stressed that they'd like to focus on local liquors; naturally, all of the drinks would be still be available sans spirits after 7 p.m., too.

Anyone looking to influence the Cormans' decision can do so now; Johanna said she is actively seeking input from fans and customers on how to make this transition. 345 Fore Street, Portland, 207-747-4901, website. Open Tuesday - Thursday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m., Friday - Saturday 11 a.m. - 7:30 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.