Date Night: Pilcrow Cocktail Cellar

Meet me underground.

Founder’s Station, the building complex in which Pilcrow Cocktail Cellar resides, originally housed a printing press around the end of the 19th century. Bar owner Joe Phelps wanted a name to honor that part of the building’s history so he chose “pilcrow,” a typographical character used to indicate a new paragraph or section of text. The name suits well since the bar is the next part of the basement’s narrative.

“We wanted a modern ambiance while still holding onto the basement’s core aesthetic,” Phelps says. “Neon lights highlight the original brick and the result is lasting and timeless. My wife, Meg, likes to burn candles in the cubbyholes and let the wax drip down the walls. It reminded us of catacombs so we recently commissioned a local craftsman, Daniel “Papa D” Slocum of Rail Studio, to build us custom tables that mimic stacked bones. It’s been a lot of fun to watch people descend the stairs and take everything in for the first time.”

Pilcrow is a place where millennials and baby boomers from all walks of life come in to drink. The bench seating can accommodate any party size but sometimes causes people to sit close to each other. This often leads to strangers soon becoming friends.

Signature Drinks

Bar owners Joe and Meg Phelps

While the bar focuses on tequila and mezcal cocktails, all other base spirits are represented. “So far, The Ampersand Collins has been a favorite,” Phelps says. “It’s refreshing and on the sweet side due to the housemade, strawberry tarragon syrup but balanced out by coconut milk, citrus, and salt. On the other end of our spirits spectrum is our boozy and smoky take on the classic Martinez called the (Manny) Martinez. It’s made with Mezcal, Punt e Mes, Cynar and maraschino liqueur. Manny is a good friend of mine and I always wanted to do a take on the Martinez and name it after him.”

Pilcrow Cocktail Cellar

Tuesday-Thursday, 4 p..m. to 12 a.m.; Friday and Saturday, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.

2015 1st Ave N. υ(205) 502-7600


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