I heard some folks from The Commodore Ballroom had opened a bar this spring called The Bottleneck. So after work one day, I decided to go and check it out. Location-wise, it’s tricky. There was no sign to lead the way, no neon dingleberries inviting me in. Just a plain old door which I eventually found. The Black Lips were on the “radio” and the scent of wood, red wine and bacon filled the air.
So far so good. Between the brick walls and dim lights, the room felt completely un-Granville. It could have been a bar in Nova Scotia or Nashville. I could have been Johnny Depp or Ryan Gosling - not creepy but actually cool, dating myself in a downtown bar. So I pulled up a stool. There were two girls seated kitty-corner to me, double-destroying a bowl of something. I leaned in. It looked like chocolate cake but smelled like mushrooms… and spices.
I leaned in more. “Beef cheeks,” one of the girls said with a cute smile. Not a whole lot happened that night. The bartender told me that The Bottleneck used to be a storage space. I chatted with those girls and a few others about Game of Thrones, totem poles and sex in Thailand. I drank three pints of Radeberger, ate spicy coconut mussels and black pepper gnocchi, and smoked two cigarettes. I had a damn good time at The Bottleneck, and if you prefer Mick Jagger to Jagerbombs, I guarantee you will too.