Saturday night, after a Mark Cutler show, we found ourselves wandering past The Apartment, which has taken up residence (heh) in the Jewelry District in what used to be Jake’s. My impressions of this new bar/eatery after the jump, and you can check out their big grand opening party tomorrow, which their website and Facebook page fail to describe, barely 22 hours before the fun starts. (What’s the deal, guys?) An excited server told us the fete will include “really awesome DJs,” so there’s that.
6 p.m., Thursday, 373 Richmond Street, Providence
First, there’s a clawfoot tub inside the door. I love clawfoot tubs! We asked the cute hostess if any hapless drunks had tried to climb into it yet. She laughed and said “everyone” gets in the tub. She pointed out five guys who’d been in it, posing for photos, before we walked in. Hello, five new Facebook profile pics!
The long bar is lined with chandeliers, and the dark interior is furnished with a carefully-planned mishmash of chairs, couches, floor and table lamps, and even a headboard on the wall. To go with the whole “apartment” theme (these are the same folks who recently opened the English Cellar Alehouse; they have a thing for themes), frequent drinkers get a “key to the apartment” as part of their frequent drinky club thing. That better be as symbolic as it sounds, ‘cause things might get a bit awkward for the bartenders when 2 a.m. rolls around: “OK, folks, you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay–Oh, man, you ALL have keys?”
They also have a couple flat-screen TVs, which should make sports-watchers happy. Personally, I’m on a quest to find a comfy bar that has no TVs whatsoever. If you’ve seen such a place, please let me know.
But, I must get to the food (although the list of 150 different beers is impressive, too). Their online menu consists of normal stuff like sandwiches and salads, except for the dessert choices: deep-fried banana or deep-fried Twinkie. You have to come inside to see how kinky the kitchen gets. The paper menus at the bar included a treasure trove of Southern artery-clogging victuals, from fried pickles to fried banana-and-peanut-butter sandwiches to hush puppies. It was way too late/early to think about food, as tempting as deep-fried cornbread always is, so I can’t vouch for their grub. I can say that Rick’s Road House, which is directly across the street, mentioned that same night that their mechanical bull will be installed this Friday, so that kind of complements the whole Southern thing, even if it’s a day late for the grand opening. Which is 3 or 4 weeks after The Apartment actually opened, so no one’s really counting, anyway.
Good sign: Mark Cutler, Kris Hansen and Dan Lilley have each lined up October gigs there. I wonder if they’ll hop in the tub?