The foosball table didn’t work, but that was probably intentional.
It became very clear very quickly that this wasn’t a typical bar.
Instead of Snickers and Sun Chips, a vintage vending machine was stocked with science fiction paperbacks and obscure DVD’s. I don’t think they were for purchase.
On the wall above the bar a large projector screen played The Graduate on mute.
On a bathroom wall in large capital letters a message said “ask me about my sweater.” A phone number was scratched below.
In a dimly lit corner a curtain revealed a photo booth – except that in place of a photo booth contraption there was a TV screen playing a black and white documentary on legendary tattoo artist Don Ed Hardy.
A picture frame held what appeared to be a map from an antiquated alpine motel. A small yellow star indicated You Are Here.
Every detail taken alone was the most random thing ever. A scattered mix of retro junk; stuff you’d find in your parents basement. Or your grandparents’ basement. But taken together, nothing felt out of place – somehow it all made sense. A world dreamt up by a creative, rebellious mind.
If you asked me what I missed during the pandemic, nightlife wouldn’t have been my first answer. I like a night out as much as the next guy, but I did just fine without it. But this place reminded me how awesome a great bar can be. Plus, it’s all back to normal: a server without a mask, eye contact with strangers, small talk with strangers! It was energizing to observe others; it felt even better to be observed.
And the cocktails were phenomenal.