I know this amazing bar. It’s super exclusive, super-inclusive, retro, and ultra-modern. It’s located through a secret entrance in the city pound in the worst part of town.
Like all bars with inscrutable locations, it’s a speakeasy. A “secret” bar. But it’s a secret the way it’s “a secret” your aunt got a facelift in 2015. No one is going out of their way to guard that secret. There’s no need for a password, just walk past the pound’s decrepit check-in desk, continue on down a long hallway with flickering bulbs and muted howls and mewls, and you’ll see an imposing iron door. Ignore that door. That’s where the pound keeps the ferals.
Round the corner from the iron door, there’s a beaded curtain that’s a foot thick and always tangled. Through there, you’ll find the steepest, narrowest steps you’ve ever descended leading down nine stories. Wind your way around some abandoned dog crates that are, perhaps, a major fire hazard and look out for puddles—it’s always wet down here. Look for the one-eyed Jack Russell Terrier prowling in front of a glaringly conspicuous photo booth—you’ve arrived at the bar.
It’s a bit of a challenge to find it or gain access, but once you’re there, you won’t want to leave! The nine flights of stairs are much worse up than down.
The bar doesn’t take reservations, but there’s plenty of space for 4-6 people, including the three bartenders jockeying for dominance behind the bar. One of my old coworkers had his birthday party there and they gave him a free glass of André. The bar doesn’t have a name, and neither do two of the three bartenders. The third bartender, the one with the big-ass knife strapped across his chest, has a name—Michael. But you have to earn the right to call him that.
The stools are backless and bottomless, and tall enough to require second stools to get on them. The lighting is more of a spectral glowing. There’s no food, but the drinks are, like, so good. They have a specialty cocktail—the Cocker Spaniel Tail—that’s just straight vodka served in a cute glass with a dog collar wrapped around it. The shelter gives them to the bar for free when the dogs no longer need them. There’s also $5 margaritas on Mondays.
There’s no number for the bar listed online, but there’s a single corded phone that rings constantly. Though you can barely notice it over the music, which is both lo-fi and earsplitting. There’s no social media pages either. We rely solely on word-of-mouth for our patronage.
Yes—our patronage—I’m actually a co-owner. I went to the bar three times and a hooded man gave me a certificate for a 50% stake for being a loyal customer. Though I did have to give him $200,000.
We do come up on Google Maps, which is actually a bit of a bummer due to their reviews section. The bar’s atmosphere has been described as “sticky” and “liminal space” and “the last stop before the surprisingly sweet reprieve of Hell.” I’ll admit word-of-mouth isn’t exactly the most reliable PR when everyone’s a fuckin’ critic. But I bet your mouth can get the word out real good.
So anyway, we’re hosting a singles mixer on Friday—think you’ll be able to make it? Tell your friends. No, seriously, take your phone out right now and let me watch you message at least 40 of your closest friends about the bar. Add some emojis, make it personal. I can text you a template you can modify.
That’s good, that’s good. Keep going.
Stop—don’t message your parents—we don’t need any olds at the bar. Oooh, who’s Angela? Show me her Instagram. Oh yeah, definitely invite her to the bar. Go through her friends list and shoot them some invites, too.
Hey! I saw that SOS text. No need to sound the alarm here, Shh, shh, stop crying, I have no intention of actually using the gun as long as you hurry up and tell everyone you’ve ever met about my amazing bar.