Words By Logan Hollers, Photos By Clarissa Villondo
Winter is coming.
And by winter, I mean intoxication.
And by coming, I mean opening in Shaw.
There are two ways to read the new Game of Thrones pop-up bar taking over the Derek Brown trifecta of Mockingbird Hill, Southern Efficiency, and Eat the Rich:
1. “Damn, Game of Thrones has really jumped the shark – this is absurd.” WRONG.
2. “Wow. An incredible bar owner has built an incredible bar with incredible drinks modeled around an incredible book series.” (Alright, AND TV show, you posers.) YES.
Listen, guys: I love Game of Thrones. Like, too much. Ever since a wonderful young lady turned me on to the books waaaay before the show started, I’ve been a stan for GRRM. (Don’t even get me started about how much of a bummer it is that I can now no longer play the, “Oh, you didn’t know that was coming?” card during the show…)
Point is, this pop-up is more than a gimmick; true to form, Derek Brown has created a magnificently themed watering hole with complex, well-crafted, delicious cocktails – something rarely seen in traditional pop-ups.
And I’m here to tell you…after a three-week build out, the trio formerly known as Mockingbird, Southern Efficiency, and Eat the Rich could not look better. What once was Mockingbird Hill is now filled with weeping weirwoods, the Wall, and life-size dragons; what once was Southern Efficiency is now a dead ringer for the House of Black and White, faceless men and all; and what once was Eat the Rich now holds a life-size Iron Throne, as well as banners from all the great houses (Tyrell, Tully, Targaryen, Stark, Lannister, Baratheon, Greyjoy, Arryn, and Martell, natch).
And those cocktails, tho…
Shame: tequila and grapefruit tonic are a great match, with the bitter grapefruit playing off the vegetal agave.
What is Dead May Never Die: a savory cocktail, reminiscent of a green tomato gazpacho (in a great way – cheers, Jose!) thanks to the celery bitters and celery shrub, that somehow remains eminently drinkable.
Milk of the Poppy: true to the books, it perfectly dulls the ache of a long day at the office, with a sharp citrus bite mellowed out by the smooth coconut.
Lady Mormont: not unlike young Lyanna, Lady of Bear Island, this one’s stronger than it looks, with a hit of tropical citrus that makes it way too gulpable.
The North Remembers: hella, hella Northern, served in a bone stein that hearkens back to the First Men – creamy, rich, and boozy, great for the cold Northern winters when Winterfell’s hot springs aren’t pumping.
Dothraquiri: my pick for top drink, this one is definitely worthy of a horse-bound horde of warriors, with subtle chocolate and banana notes (savage-r than it sounds, trust me) accentuating the traditional citrus-forward daiquiri.
Listen, the place is over the top. That said, the drinks are incredible; the bartenders couldn’t be cooler; and there really isn’t another place in the city to nerd out over your love for a fake, fantasy TV show and great booze.
I hate standing in lines. Like, refuse to do so. I will stand in line for this place and these drinks.
Let’s be honest: valar morghulis. Before then, get here.