We ducked into the Raines Law Room last night and can confirm that the photos Eater has obtained (though they seem to be publicity shots from Metromix) are more or less representative. The bar area and front lounge you see (cheesy jazz-themed wallpaper trim not shown) are separated by some curtained-off booths (last night we were told that our party of two could sit in one of them but might have to share it if the place got busy. Eh, no thanks). Here’s our main gripe about this operation: You have to ring a doorbell to get in, after which the door opens in a crack and the host asks you who you’re there for. “Lance?” we said, thinking our date might be inside or had reserved a table.
The host closed the door and left to check on this, and though Lance hadn’t yet arrived and hadn’t made a reservation (meaning they had no idea who he was), the host eventually opened the door and let us in anyway. People, why go through this rigmarole? Aren’t we all adults here? Also, a word to the waitresses — when someone pulls the chain for service and asks you for a woody, smoky tequila drink, don’t recommend anything with Campari and don’t offer to substitute tequila into a floral gin drink (though an Archangel, blending tequila with cucumber, wasn’t terrible).
The cocktails are mostly good, as you’d expect from Milk & Honey’s Michael McIlroy (the waitress gives him a shout-out when she tells you about the drinks menu, which is so illegibly designed that we ended up ignoring it). The flavored popcorn (which is apparently bussed in, perhaps from Tailor?) was decent. The jazz soundtrack was really what pushed this establishment entirely into speakcheesiness. If you’re denied entry because the place is full-up, head to Flatiron Lounge. Heck, head there to begin with.
Meanwhile, in other speakeasy news, we hear Woodson and Ford (as it’s known, though not officially so) may be ready to open any day now.