Tuesday, October 17, 2017

"The Top-Secret New York Bar That’s Only Big Enough for Two Customers"

NY:

Suddenly, like magic (or like “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”), we found ourselves entering an even smaller space: a full-blown miniature saloon, just large enough to accommodate a single bartender and exactly two guests.

The idea for Threesome Tollbooth grew out of another of the “experiences” that Austin, who works mostly as a designer of them, orchestrated recently. A man he knew, he told us, had commissioned Austin to come up with something dramatic as a grand gesture to win over his estranged wife—a couple of some celebrity, Austin admitted, though he wouldn’t name names. (“Blink twice if it’s Jay-Z and Beyoncé!”) So Austin had put together a custom-made, one-time pop-up bar in an actual tollbooth, an abandoned one on a rail bridge over a river in New Jersey. Did it work?

...

The price of a visit to the Tollbooth is a hundred and ten dollars per person; Austin and the Tollbooth’s co-creator, the lexicographer and cocktail connoisseur Jesse Sheidlower, pay rent on the closet-sized space, of an amount they prefer not to specify. “What I will say,” Austin allowed, “is that this is possibly going to work as a business and not just, like, a fun project.” So far, news of the bar has spread entirely through word of mouth.