Although they bare the same name and logo, are located on the same street and same plot of land, their contrast is night and day. If you are standing across the street and looking at the building, the one on the left is significantly different from the one on the right. I was fortunate enough to visit the establishment on the left prior to the one on the right, and I am glad that I had was lucky enough to have done it in this sequence, or else I probably wouldn’t have taken the time to visit the other.
Walking in, we were asked if we had reservations, the answer was no – didn’t know that we needed any (and as I have revisited this bar, I would suggest that one makes reservations prior to going). We were a bit fortunate, it was a Saturday night and it was still relatively young when we arrived, around 10:30.
Stepping through the door, I was taken back by the entrance display, and old fashioned bathtub surrounded by Hendricks Gin and several other antique / vintage trinkets with just enough space for about two tables, slightly separated from the rest of the venue, but still just inclusive enough to enjoy the overall ambience (a nice spot to sit and seduce that person you plan on taking home later and putting the bar’s name to use – 4play)
As I ventured further past the threshold, it opens up into a well organized, densely populated, dimly lit room. A food menu in large chalkboard style writing on the left hand side of the room, and exact opposite is where the artists create their work behind a fully stocked bar, complete with televisions and tool and machines I’ve never seen prior to this night.
Adjacent to the bar, there is the cash register, with what appeared to be a clock located behind it. The digital clock I soon noticed was keeping incorrect time, over the course of the night, I came to the realization that this was a digital counter, counting the number of drinks served – very impressive numbers.
We were sat in a corner, at a high rise table, with barstool style seats. There are no drink menus at this venue, patrons merely express the flavor profile which they like (or dislike), and the cocktails are made to order. As is customary, I merely ordered the signature cocktail from the head bartender (which also happened to the be the owner – Alan) – essentially a surprise. Paralleling the entire environment, the drink went well beyond satisfying the basics in evoking my sense of sight, taste and smell.
As the night progressed and the establishment became crowded with people fulfilling their reservations, we were eventually moved to the bar, whereas I was able to see these artists create their work first hand. Although its typical to see men bartenders in this industry, my eyes were curiously drawn to the only woman behind the bar. Her professionalism in the manner in which she executed orders and seamlessly complimented the actions of the owner clearly intrigued me (noted by the fact that she wore black gloves as if she were worked at a luxury jewelry shop).
Impressed with everything, my friend phoned a female he was talking to and when she arrived we totaled 3, at this point, we began to ponder whether this will be our final destination or should we change locations – we opted to stay. We were moved to a table of 4, as others migrated to other destinations, where we sat and spoke until the bar closed. Upon realizing that it was about to close and the night was still relatively young (I can literally stay at bars all night – not clubs – bars), I went to the bathroom located on the wall at the opposite end from the entrance, where as it was fully stocked with miniature take-away mouthwashes (perfect in the instance of a casual breathilyzer).
The three of us left together and walked up the street to a nearby 7/11, bought a few beers (not me) and a bottle of vodka, whereas we began to extend an invitation to the female that was with us…..