The Automatic for the People

Dave Cagle's forthcoming new bar will keep things simple.

the automatic bar

Photograph by Jim Brueckner

In his two decades behind the stick, Dave Cagle has seen it all: well drinks usurped by draft cocktails; the reemergence of the Long Island iced tea and other ’80s tipples; “beertenders” unseated by molecular mixologists.

“It was so much easier back then,” says Cagle, recalling his nine-year tenure at the B-Side Lounge—a beloved Cambridge dive that drew both regulars and celebrities (including Ben Affleck) prior to its demise in 2008. “Trends are cyclical, and we’re getting back to bartenders working with rum and brandy and straight spirit drinks. That’s the stuff I love.”

Call it a return to simplicity. At least that’s what you’ll find at Cagle’s first solo spot, the Automatic, where the PBR is cold, the soundtrack is 100 percent vintage vinyl, and the cocktails are limited to the classics (Manhattans, Sazeracs). “I want this to be more of a neighborhood hangout,” Cagle says. “My ultimate goal is to make it the bar people want to go to when they get out of work.”

50 Hampshire St., Cambridge,