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I got a flurry of text messages a few weeks ago when Chuck Bass, a fictional character on CW's Gossip Girl, decided on the show to open a speakeasy called The Gimlet, serving Prohibition-era cocktails. You see, one year ago I helped open a bar that serves Prohibition-era cocktails called The Gibson. Certainly, an OMG is appropriate here.
Now I'm sure the names are simply coincidental, and the Gimlet is actually a pretty good name after all, but the speakeasy trend that has swept the continent may have just jumped the shark. Whenever an authentic trend is co-opted by teenie-boppers and dumbed-down programming, the worry is that charlatans will abound. When the Disney channel has Hannah Montana drinking mocktails at a gin-joint then all of a sudden the allure of sneaking into an unmarked door has lost all of its fizz.
But getting a good drink from a qualified bartender without suffering throngs of beer-soaked college students or post-post-adolescents downing Red Bull and vodka, is here to stay. The thing to understand is that you can't walk into a restaurant and just plop down where you want. You generally have hosts. You have to wait for your food. The places that have been dubbed speakeasies are following the same model, but with a little style.