Tuesday, September 13, 2016

we are cocktail legion

An anonymous drink
Anonymous is many things. He’s a writer. He's possibly Shakespeare. He’s an artist. He’s that public masturbator that lives down the street. He’s an internet activist group. He is that guy who got arrested for revealing the identities of a ring of rapists.

Anonymous is also a coffee shop in Prague.

And a bar.

The coffee shop, near IP Pavlova, is one of the more uncomfortable places to sit with a computer, since all the seats are made of wood pallets and are about as comfortable as an introvert doing an unprepared stand-up comedy routine. Thus kind of defeating the theme of borrowing from an internet hacktivist group when you can't comfortably sit around on the computer. They do serve some pretty great brew though. The bar and the coffee shop are owned by the same people, and it shows in the standards and service of the staff.

But I’m not writing about the coffee shop. I’m writing about the bar.

We decided randomly with a friend to go for cocktails. I’ve been having trouble lately finding “classy” places to hang out that are still somewhat edgy, since mostly I just choose dive bar locations with questionable toilets. Toilets that either aren’t there, or that when the door opens, there’s not much else but for the entire bar to cheer you on. When I was prompted last year by a friend to go to a lounge, because he was there with his girlfriend, I couldn’t think of an appropriate place. “Nope, this one smells of beer, this one of vomit, this one of vinegar.” It’s a hard knock life, my friends.

Anonymous Bar at Michalska 12 then made the list of possible places to take out-of-towners who aren’t in for a rough night of drinking cheap beer. Cheap beer in Prague, mind you, is still better than expensive beer in 99% of the countries of the world. And ironically, that expensive beer is usually cheap Czech beer. Anonymous fit the higher class standard of being a cocktail bar and my standard of being a slight bit unusual.

The place is certainly classy, and weirdly extreme on good customer service. I almost felt offended, as I’ve been living in Prague for so long that I’ve come to see bad customer service as polite. All of these “hellos” and “good evenings” while passing the service staff almost seemed excessive, as though they were mocking us. But fine. They are legion. What am I to do?

Hideout of the Legion
The interior is a bit of a cross between what I imagine Kanye West’s house to look like and the set of the Nine Inch Nail’s Perfect Drug video. In fact, I think this was their primary motivation in design. The furniture were huge red lush old fashion arm chairs and couches, the ambiance dark with some soft electronic music going and on the wall a large sort of graffiti art interpretation of the Guy Fawkes mask. The music was nothing aggressive, just on the background, drifting along so you don’t have to raise your voice for conversation. The menu was full of weirdly named cocktails, the fun stuff of any cocktail bar. I got the 100% leather, which was a basic Manhattan with a shot of absinthe. My wife got a drink served in a syringe, and people at other tables had drinks served with toy guns, kaleidoscopes, and any assortment of novelties.    

The staff, as I said, is exceedingly friendly and quite knowledgeable on cocktails. My friend was bent on trying to stump the waiter, shooting out names like Witches Left Tit and the Vespa from the James Bond book, not the movie one, and the waiter was on top of the game. The drinks were expertly crafted and presented, with the waiter donning a Guy Fawkes mask as he serves the drink to carry on the namesake of the bar.

Getting our drinks
The place isn’t cheap by Prague standards though. The cheapest legit drink on the list is 175 crowns, or roughly 7 USD. Which, in the US that’s really cheap for an amazingly mixed drink. In Prague, well, that’s about 7 great beers. It’s a sacrifice to heavy drinkers like myself, but a worthy sacrifice. Now if only I could convince them to host an accordionist singer-songwriter like myself and pay him in free cocktails...   

In winter, it's highly advised to book seats. Call at +420 608 069. 

No comments:

Post a Comment