Let it never be said that Cache Bouren lacks attention to detail. The craft cocktail impresario turned the South Bay scene on its head in 2010, when he opened the speakeasy-inspired Singlebarrel on a nondescript side street in the heart of downtown San Jose’s SoFA District. He may just do it again in his new venture, Haberdasher.

The original experience of Singlebarrel was pleasantly unsettling: the lengthy external queue to build anticipation; an interior as dark as a well bottom; page boy-styled bartenders suggesting and painstakingly preparing drinks based on patrons’ preferences.

It wasn’t so much a place to grab a drink as a place to have an experience, one that could be casually paraded over friends: Oh, you haven’t been to Singlebarrel? You gotta go.

But in five years, the scene began to change. Other bars emulated Singelbarrel’s drinks—bringing their own Michelin-star level of focus to cocktails—while eschewing some of the haughty trappings of a “sophisticated” bar. In the last year or so, Singlebarrel suddenly felt a touch anachronistic, which is a strange thing to say about a bar that’s intentionally shooting for that Prohi vibe.

Bouren could have sat on what worked but made a bold move to stay a step ahead of the industry. After a brief shutdown for renovations in June, Bouren reopened the bar under the name Haberdasher, a nod to the tailored environment of craft cocktail lounges. The new specifications are a sharp fit.

Haberdasher is warmer than its predecessor, but that’s not simply because of the amber glow that has replaced the shadowy recesses of the basement. Derby hat light fixtures suggest a playfulness that didn’t necessarily come through in the past incarnation. If there is a line to get in, it’s shorter and moves quicker. No one hovers over tables admonishing patrons about flash photography or the proper decibel level of conversations. It is a bar that has found a balance. Thankfully, the drinks have not diminished in quality by any stretch, but the menu has been scaled down to facilitate serving at a faster, larger scale.

Our bartender, Ian, self-assuredly walked us through the menu, and the appreciation he has for the craft was evident. Gin gimlets ($12) have a special place in my sogged heart, and here they come in five different flavors: basil, cilantro, cucumber, mint and rosemary. The basil was exceptional, but the cilantro couldn’t have been smoother.

The “House Fittings,” a deft collection of gin, rum and mescal cocktails, offered more than a few standouts. The Old Creole ($11) is served sweet but smoky with demerara rum, Oloroso sherry, oak syrup and lime. Perhaps the best drink on the menu is the Zihuatenejo ($12), which fans of The Shawshank Redemption may remember as the wind-swept beach town Andy and Red meet to drink, build a boat and forget prison. Served with Mescal Vida, rosemary syrup and lemon, the frothy concoction is billed as “a sip of Mexico’s Pacific Coast.”

There is also a collection of craft cocktails on draft—the Moscow Mule ($13) actually comes with a copper cup you can keep; refills are $9—and the silky Old Fashioned ($12) is served with a cube of ice as big as heavyweight fist.

Bouren toured nearly four-dozen New York City bars in four days during the spring to cull ideas for his reincarnation, and it appears he pocketed the best of what he could recall. While still in its first month since resuming operation, Haberdasher may not have hit its stride yet. Bouren compared his new joint to a shoe still being broken in, but the look and feel couldn’t be more comfortable.

The staging of the lounge is perhaps the trend we should soon expect of more craft cocktail lounges. Haberdasher is partitioned into two halves, where first-come, first-served patrons can find ample room at tables to the left, while a section of curtained booths and small tables are available by reservation to the right. Providing a stylish balance between the happy hour crowd and save-the-date parties—a vast improvement on the trite bottle-service boastingof yesteryear—should become the norm.

43 W. San Salvador St., San Jose, CA