Personally, I have been wanting to visit UnderTow for the past several months. Jeff saw my post on Facebook about desiring to go, and took me and Allen this past Saturday. If you’re intimidated about going, don’t be! (I was, stupidly, which is why it took me so long to get there.)
To help others out, here’s a mini guide/adventure on getting to UnderTow and enjoying it.
UnderTow is a hidden “tiki/concept bar” located at Indian School and 36th St. To locate it, GPS takes you to Sip Coffee & Beer Garage, which was a former car garage (so coooool). This is not a mistake. There’s no outdoor signage, so don’t drive in circles looking for it.
Important Parking Note: Uber/Lyft over, or get there early enough to have a backup parking plan if no parking is available at Sip Coffee & Beer House. If you park at a neighboring joint, you will get towed. Friends on Facebook had this happen to them.
Reservations are Vital
UnderTow is TINY. It’s the former oil change pit of the car garage Sip is in. In theory, you can hop on over and wait for a chance to get in (in case someone cancels). But don’t do that.
Getting reservations is relatively easy. Hop to their website, scroll down, and use the Open Table reservation thingie.
Just don’t try to get a reservation of more than four people. It’s a very intimate location for drinks and conversation. Bring close friends. Bring your partner.
Reservations are good for 90 minutes. It will fly by. Enjoy the experience while you’re there!
Inside the Vessel
Once you’re in Sip, walk down the stairs under the ship decoration hanging from the ceiling and the door person will direct you to where you’ll be sitting. If it’s your first time, I recommend sitting at the bar (as Jeff suggested to me). It is a blast to watch the bartenders at work – the cocktails here are a work of art!
You can get a peek of the menu here (no food, pure drinkage). Yes, the drinks are pricey. I am a cheap ass, so I feel your pain. But they are strong, and flavorful, and worth it. Also, two cocktails will leave you relatively tipsy. Additionally, there is no judgement if you just have one drink. If you don’t feel like drinking a lot, no pressure at all.
If you DO want to drink a lot, they have a few giant $30 cocktails you can split with a friend or go nuts on. Also: the bartenders are more than happy to help you, no matter how busy they look. Ask away!
I got a “The Smoking Cannon” (Menu description: This stirred cocktail blends Bourbon, Barbadian Rum, French American, Amontillado Sherry, Pineapple, Bitters & topped with Cinnamon Smoke) for my first cocktail, and a “Bridge Between Two Worlds” (Menu description: A blend of Coconut infused Dark Rum, Pineapple Rum, German Bitters, Pineapple & Lime) for my second (which was a recommendation from the bartender when I told her I loved coconut rum drinks). “Bridge” was my favorite, though the “Smoking Cannon,” with its cinnamon infused smoke swirling about, was super cool.
As a bonus, they were also super accommodating serving Allen a virgin cocktail because he was voluntarily DD for the night!
It’s very crowded and noisy. If you get claustrophobic and (noisy) small spaces give you anxiety, this is not the bar for you. Some conversations had to be yelled into each other’s ears. It took a little getting used to. It also took some creative maneuvering not to bump people over.
Occasionally, they have limited edition art tiki mugs. If you collect them, ask! They also have super sweet t-shirts for $18.
I had a phenomenal experience and can’t wait to return for a “treat yo’self” night!