Sometimes late at night when you are a bit drunk, well actually A LOT drunk, and wandering down a dark street or alley you think to yourself while the mind is all fuzzy that this might not be a good idea. Wandering down a dark, abandoned, and kind of seedy back street in Chinatown NYC might not be the best move you think. Walking through an unmarked door into a shadowy abandoned Chinese restaurant also might be an invitation to a body part harvesting situation. Eh – you’re drunk and throw caution to the wind. Don’t think my liver is worth much anyway at this point with all the abuse I put it through.
Lo and behold what you have just walked into is another mood-setting darkly lit speakeasy called Apotheke. Hidden behind an old sign that reads “Gold Flower Restaurant” this weathered down and beaten up storefront actually conceals a terrific bar serving proper libations cooked up by expert mixologists. Think “Prohibition Era” fun!
The place itself is on the small side and has only about four couches and a few chairs to sit on, but with it’s dimly lit interior and chill music, it is a nice place to relax and enjoy an expertly made drink with friends or a date. Totally dark and cool ambiance. Especially on Monday and Tuesday when live jazz is performed. The trio last night gave the aura of 1930’s sleek sophistication with their smooth renditions of classic crooning.
The bartenders are outfitted with old school apothecary jackets, and with all the labeled and unlabeled bottles and jars of different colored contents on the bar you feel as if you are back in a turn of the century pharmacy. You totally trust these guys to hand you a terrific drink off of the varied menu, or to provide you with a wonderful concoction that they make up based on what your taste buds crave. I tried a few drinks this evening – an “Irritable Scottsman” which is scotch based, and a “Blackberry Cobbler” which is rye whiskey based. Both very different, but both very enjoyable. In fact, I had a bunch of these – too many to remember – but it all came back to me when I received my bill! Yes, it is not cheap here with the average drink going for $15, but very worth it for a perfectly made cocktail if that is what matters to you and your wallet.
After an evening of killer drinks and speakeasy revelry you walk out the door and back onto the abandoned streets of late night Chinatown looking for that cab that will take you safely home. Just never be afraid to peek inside a decrepit old doorway as you never know what hidden joys are behind that wall. I just love these hidden libation destinations!
Apotheke – http://www.apothekenyc.com/