The Phenomenon: Secret bar
The Bars: It’s a secret
Lately everyone’s been all a-chatter about secret bars. “Secret bars,” they say, “are cool.” And logically, that is true. Bars that are only known to people that are in the know are pretty much the definition of exclusive cool. The problem is that when one is sitting in the secret bar that only the elite know about, everyone there knows about the bar. You are all equally exclusive and wonderful, and cannot lord your exclusive, wonderful knowledge over anyone. It is only in telling someone about the secret bar who doesn’t know about the secret bar already and watching their flush of shame at not being invited to the secret bar sleepover party that the secret bar knower-abouter is able to exploit his better-than-most-people-ness. But then through the telling and the shame, everyone finds out about the secret bar. Finally, someone blogs the secret reservation phone number for Milk and Honey or the trick with the deli and the hostess at La Esquina, and even nobodies can go to the secret bar.
I guess that’s why the newest secret bar, the Back Room (Delancey and Norfolk) has thrown some good old-fashioned VIP-only snobbery in with its trickiness: not only is there a fake storefront to fool the uninitiated, but also a secret, invite-only back room that you get to by pulling a secret book on a secret bookcase or giving the secret password or something. I don’t really know because I don’t go to secret bars. I don’t care if the martinis at Milk and Honey were shaken on the asses of virgins and infused with angel pee, I am much too broke to pay $20 for a drink. Also? I am a nobody. I don’t go to secret bars for the same reason I don’t write in to Gawker groveling for one of their comment logins: because it is pathetic. Truly, is there anything sadder than an un-self-aware nobody? It’s as bad as being a skanky chick shivering in line outside of some shitty club in the Meatpacking District. Nobodies of the world, drinking should be an activity that helps you to forget that you’re poor and unloved, not continuously reminds you of it. So c’mon everybody, let’s all go down the street to completely un-secret Local 138 and sit in one of the terrifically well-known window boxes and have some non-exclusive $3-until-nine-o’clock drinks. The password is “beer, please.”