This really, honestly, truly is a laundromat. It is not an elaborate front for a fancy speakeasy. I promise you, THIS IS NOT A SPEAKEASY. It was hard enough when the only misunderstanding was the assumption I offered dry cleaning. To clarify, I DO NOT OFFER DRY CLEANING SERVICES!
I understand that this neighborhood has changed in recent years, and to some, my frontage looks “ironically shambolic” or “intentionally distressed.” Especially in comparison to the barbershop-cum-coffee shop, the dog spa-cum-coffee shop, and of course, the idea hub lido-cum-coffee shop. Nonetheless, my storefront is not a “…site-specific art installation, commenting on societal dissonance and gentrification.” At least, not intentionally. Though, isn’t that always the way with true art?
To address the hullabaloo around my “LAUNDROMAT” sign, please know that the sign consists of light bulbs, and sometimes light bulbs blow. As such, the sign has appeared to read as “LANDRAT” for the last few months. This is nothing more than an unfortunate and meaningless occurrence. It is not an “Easter egg.” It is not a clue to a speakeasy password. Please stop whispering “Landrat” to me, in the hopes of being welcomed into a hidden room and offered artisan negronis.
The same goes for any other passwords you’ve had a guess at. Though, I did enjoy some of the ones involving wordplay around soap suds and beer suds. As a beer guy in the soap business, they spoke to me, and for those few chuckles we shared, I thank you.
You must also, for your own safety and for the sake of my insurance premiums, stop trying to access the “speakeasy” by climbing into the dryer drums. The dryers are not a gateway to a narcotic Narnia. They are literal tumble dryers.
And to whoever drank five cups of the complimentary liquid soap: firstly, thank you for your five-star Yelp review, which described it as “…authentic yet adaptive, heightened realism mixology.” Secondly: please seek medical assistance at your earliest convenience. Luckily for you, I water that stuff down, like, a lot.
I'll accept some of the blame for the prohibition-era bar-cum-laundromat confusion. When reports spread that my non-existent speakeasy was the most elite and difficult-to-access location in town, desperate would-be patrons began to tip their way into my heart. As chance would have it, money is my love language.
And so yes, I took the cash, and yes, I allowed some individuals to sit in the downstairs utility room, and sure, I served beverages made by combining whatever liquids were in the staff fridge. I even devised a cocktail garnish from Lunchables, this would ultimately become known as my signature flourish.
Once the fridge fluids dried up, I set to mixing the wholesale bags of corn and sugar I inherited when the adjoining grocery store closed down. You could say that for a while there, I was technically making moonshine and, by definition, running an unlicensed underground bar, which strictly speaking could be called a speakeasy. It likely would have continued had I not folded to requests for entertainment.
I did my best to please but sensed the crowd wasn’t vibing with my bi-nightly rendition of “All That Jazz” (with a Tuesday matinée), so I had to quickly think of a solution. The obvious choice was to show Peaky Blinders on a portable DVD player. It seemed to fit the bill perfectly; the show’s characters all wore braces, as did most of our new clientele. Then, one of the regulars questioned whether I was upholding international copyright laws and had gained clearance to play the show in the “bar.” I told him straight up that the DVD was as bootleg as his Lunchables Lemon Drop.
Well, it turns out the good thing we had going was all too authentic for Arlo. A braces-wearing rooftop gardener who only wants to pretend to live outside the law. Thanks to Arlo and his snitching tour, I was visited by the state liquor authority, had an inspection by the health department, and received a strongly worded, but overall rather polite letter from the BBC rights department.
And so to confirm, this is once again a laundromat and nothing else. No matcha lattes, no underground bar, no Arlos, and absolutely no dry cleaning.