Merion Village newcomer Bar 7 has become a cocktail destination for South Side locals, but that was a happy accident. Last April, the sporty neighborhood watering hole opened on S. High St., and in just a few months has garnered a following for its signature yet inexpensive cocktails and welcoming atmosphere.

Merion Village newcomer Bar 7 has become a cocktail destination for South Side locals, but that was a happy accident. Last April, the sporty neighborhood watering hole opened on S. High St., and in just a few months has garnered a following for its signature yet inexpensive cocktails and welcoming atmosphere.

That wasn't originally the plan.

Manager Cisne Edwards and owner Ran Dezalovski expected to be pouring primarily beers and whiskey, but customers have been flocking to the location for Edwards' mystery cocktails instead.

"The idea of the mystery drink came about organically, because people were asking for drinks I made for their friends," Edwards said. "We didn't really plan the cocktail thing, but we operate on customer feedback. People were coming and asking me to make the mystery drinks, so now it's our thing."

Dezalovski knew he wanted to open a bar when he came to America 15 years ago from Israel. He had the name, he just didn't have a location, until he discovered Merion Village.

"I used to play soccer in Israel, and I was No. 7. When I came to the United States I told my wife, 'I want to open a bar, and I want it to be called Bar 7.' When I saw this building I knew this was the place I wanted to be," Dezalovski said. "As a real estate developer, I see that Merion Village is becoming a popular place for young artists and creatives. We want everyone to feel welcome."

Part of Bar 7's neighborhood watering-hole vibe means free pool tables, darts, a slew of flat screens for sporting events, and priced-right drink offerings that include Edwards' signature cocktails ($6-$8) and some domestic heavy-hitters and local brews ($2-$5). However, for finicky customers, Edwards is happy to step in.

"A customer came in and told me he only liked beer. I asked him to try a gin cocktail, and if he didn't like it, I would get the rest of his bar tab. He commented that I 'put a spell on him' - so now the Gin Spell is one of our most popular drinks. I want to do that for everyone who comes in," she said. "When people started to come in for the customized cocktails, we decided to make it a thing. People told us we could give the Short North a run for their money in terms of cocktail execution."

Bar 7 plans on adding a "simple but signature" food menu in the coming weeks, which will include flatbreads, hummus and sandwiches. Edwards and Dezalovski hope their recent popularity will continue to grow and Bar 7 will become a Merion Village fixture.

"Every week was better than the week before. People started hearing about it through word-of-mouth, so now we are very consistent after only a few months," Edwards said. "I only see that growing."