The Shipwreck Nautical Bar in Martinez

Locals were promoting this new bar that’s located in the multi-vendor Market & Main venue in downtown Martinez, CA, and we were nearby so we popped in. The Shipwreck soft-opened earlier this month and is a small bar adjacent to the Shuck It! Oyster Bar where you can order food. We had a great lobster roll and shrimp cocktail and Shuck It! will deliver to your seat at Shipwreck.

We were told this was a tiki bar, but it is not. Thankfully, it is also not a pirate bar but instead is a modestly decorated small nautical bar that seems to pair well with Shuck It! next door. Don’t confuse it with “Shipwrecked” in nearby Davis, CA. The small drink menu is obviously tiki-inspired and overall we thought the cocktails were pretty good. Mrs. Mai Tai loved her Neptune’s Garden that paired Tequila with Elderflower Liqueur to great effect.

Neptune’s Garden

The back bar has a modest collection of spirits but very little in the way of rum. The 7 Year Mai Tai is named after the Angostura 7 rum, a mild aged rum that’s easy to drink along with pineapple juice and other traditional Mai Tai ingredients. Definitely pineapple leaning, though not overwhelming, and this fruity and sweet Mai Tai did taste good.

I asked about other rum options and they offered Cruzan Dark and Captain Morgan, neither of which were what I tend to go for. I then spotted a nearly empty bottle of Equiano Dark rum, a very nice blend of aged rums from Mauritius and Barbados, so asked for Mai Tai with that rum and without the pineapple juice. This one was served in the skull glass rather than the Angostura mug and used DeKuyper Orange Curacao and Liquid Alchemist Orgeat. That Equiano rum was really great in this well-prepared and balanced Mai Tai. I did suggest to the staff they ought to invest in at least a couple of additional rums, since that’s what folks would expect at this sort of bar.

Equiano Rum Mai Tai

Market & Main has a pizza place and cookie dough storefront, with Bentley’s classic cocktail bar located upstairs during the winter (and on the back patio during the summer). We liked the sleepy vibe of downtown Martinez that includes other restaurants and antique stores.

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