First, bartenders Jason Strich and Owen Thomson decided to completely recreate Chicago tiki bar Three Dots and a Dash in the basement of Café Saint-Ex—complete with straw thatching, umbrella drinks, a smoke machine, and draft cocktails dispensed from a treasure chest.
Next, on April 30, they will transform the second floor of Adams Morgan’s Bourbon into Los Angeles disco bar Honeycut for one night. The pop-up is part of a new cocktail series called Guerilla Drinks that aims to recreate bars from different places and/or times every other month. Strich, who works at Hank’s Oyster Bar, and Thomson, a bartender at Bar Pilar, Café Saint-Ex, and Rose’s Luxury, were inspired in part by Next in Chicago, which changes its menu and decor every few months to reflect a new theme.
Thomson and Strich have never actually been to Honeycut. “It just sort of falls in line with the kind of places we’re looking for, which is mostly just bars that throw a party every night,” Thomson says.
The recreation of Honeycut will include an illuminated disco dance floor with a ceiling covered with silver balls. “I just bought a bubble machine,” Thomson says. The Los Angeles bar serves shooters out of a draft-dispensing backpack, which Thomson and Strich hope to replicate. There will also be 10 original cocktails, including one really elaborate bottled drink that will mimic nightclub bottle service with a sparklers and a lit-up ice bucket. Thomson and Strich plan to give out free Jell-O shots around midnight as well—something they hope to make a tradition at their events. Bartender Dan Searing will DJ.
For their first pop-up, Thomson and Strich didn’t tell Three Dots and a Dash what they were up to, but the Chicago bar’s owners ended up finding out about it anyway and supplying Guerilla Drinks with branded swizzle sticks and special glassware. This time around, Thomson and Strich decided to proactively contact Honeycut, but they haven’t heard back yet.
The pop-up will start around 7 p.m. on April 30 and last until they run out of booze or can’t party anymore.
Photo of Jason Strich and Owen Thomson by Darrow Montgomery