You are looking at absinthe just louched at the William Barnacle Tavern in the East Village, an eccentric establishment if ever there was one, owned and run by a descendant of Restoration playwright Thomas Otway and attached to Theatre 80 on St. Mark’s Place. The place was a Prohibition era speakeasy that was actually wired to explode in the event of a raid (you can still see the copper wires if you can finagle a tour of the basement). A fascinating if not bizarre only-in-New-York conversation is guaranteed at the bar, one which can range from the history of organized crime, the vagaries of New York theater and cabaret, Quakerism and heaven knows what else. Highly recommended, but please don’t tell too many people about it.
For more on Theatre 80 and the William Barnacle Tavern, click here.