Day 221: Go back in time at Alchemy

31 Jan


Alchemy is the worst-kept secret in Tallahassee. The first weekend this Prohibition-era secretive bar opened I heard about it from friends on Facebook and learned that even out-of-town actor Seth Rogen was spotted there. It’s a good thing the secret is out. Tallahassee could use more bars like this one, that taking mixing cocktails as seriously as heart surgeons doing a triple bypass. The first thing to know about Alchemy is you can’t just stroll in after a Friday meal. You have to make a reservation online. Then you receive a secret password to get in. The door to Alchemy is disguised near a pool table inside the Midtown Filling Station bar. You deliver your passcode to the doorman and then are brought into an alley in which the doorman sternly explains the rules. One of them is no flash photography, which explains the dark photo of the bar above. Once we got inside we were ushered to our table. The lighting is dim and romantic and they have banquette seating as well as standalone tables. Each table has its own waiter/bartender who serves you drinks. The menu is just cocktails – no snacks, appetizers or even beer and wine. Personally, I was disappointed there weren’t any vodka-based drinks. The rationale has something to do with what alcohol was available during the Prohibition era, such as rum and tequila. I’m not a big drinker so I’m not the best judge of a great cocktail. I like my drinks to disguise the fact that I’m drinking alcohol at all. That said, I definitely enjoyed the “Mary Pickford,” which is light rum, maraschino liqueur, pineapple juice and grenadine. The entire bill (a total of four drinks between my husband and I) came to $60, including at tip. And that’s what worries me about Alchemy. Tallahassee isn’t a city with a lot of high-rollers who have the kind of cash to drop $60 on drinks every weekend. I hope Alchemy sticks around, but for me it will be a once-a-year treat.

Address: 1122 Thomasville Road


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