Walking in, you immediately realize that something amazing is about to happen to you. I don’t want to ruin it, but the trippy entrance will have the little hairs on the back of your neck standing up and your body moving almost involuntarily to speed you to the experience to come.
The momentum shifts after the entrance. Suddenly you’re in a lounge, comfortable chairs abound, cool-looking people are doing cool-looking things all around you. A bearded man with a giant sign reading “tours” booms past you bellowing exclamations about the free tour.
You enter the bar/restaurant. Blues musicians that look like they fell off of a Buddy Guy album cover set up their instruments on the stage in the corner.
You sit at your table. The stone-cool server talks about the specials and jokes with you. Clearly she knows she works at a cool place and goes out of her way to point out the head chef at the bar beside you, giving a little backstory all while expertly describing the ingredients that go into the mussels.
The beer comes. A flight of the bartenders choice. Each frothy concoction unique, sometimes familiar, intensely pleasing. The mussels are delicious. The chef-special chili dog with house-made sausage is mind-bogglingly good. The ice cream sandwich appears with pumpkin ice cream and some kind of whipped-cream based sauce that’s head-butting your tastebuds.
After you’re sated, it’s time for a roadie and a brewery tour. A beer for the tour, the Black IPA, is a solid choice. The bearded man, who clearly really, really enjoys his job regales you with origin stories and beer-induced shenanigans, all while explaining what the massive metal behemoths all around you contribute to the brewing process.
Full, inebriated, and satisfied, you exit later to the nondescript parking lot with a feeling that you have discovered something new and spectacular in your city.