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Friday, February 8, 2013

Why There's a Line at Trick Dog (Hint: It's Not Why You Think)

Posted By on Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 9:15 AM

The rare sight of Trick Dog with no one in it. - YELP/KIA B.
  • Yelp/Kia B.
  • The rare sight of Trick Dog with no one in it.

In its fledgling month Trick Dog, the newest bar from booze barons The Bon Vivants, has been deemed a success. With strong, original drinks lovingly crafted by some of the best in the business and an affordable, delicious, food menu (served till 1:30 a.m. to boot), it prompted our our own Anna Roth to comment, "Damn if I didn't fall in love with Trick Dog the moment I walked in the door."

Every great bar needs a quirk, and if you've read anything about this nascent booze shop, Trick Dog's quirk is the line. Starting as early as 5 or 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, the 20th and Florida locale draws a crowd, and that crowd slowly turns into an at-times daunting line.

See also: Trick Dog: The Mission's Latest Hotspot Has Colorful Charm

Our Three Favorite Mixology Parodies, in Honor of This Week's Review

Trick Dog's line though, in the words of Bon Vivant co-founder and Trick Dog co-owner Josh Harris, "isn't an image thing." In Harris' words:

"When we first opened, it never even occurred to us that a line was a problem we were even going to have to navigate. The first night we opened though, we got crushed and people just kept trying to pack their way in and the line became a necessity. You don't want to be a place that has a negative stigma attached to it: Oh, they have a line.

"We ask ourselves, 'How do you use a line to the benefit of everybody?' -- the bartenders, the business, the patrons -- inside and out. There's a sweet spot, a number of people inside the bar, that lets us break this preconceived notion that the type of cocktails that people are gravitating toward don't have to take 30 minutes. If we just cram more people in, you're waiting five people back, frustrated about how you can't get a drink. If you're waiting in line though, you're helping to facilitate a more comfortable experience for the people inside and in turn when you get inside, you're set up to have that more comfortable, efficient experience.

"You always hear people, when they get in to the bar, saying 'It's not even that packed in here.' That's the point. It's not completely packed because a completely packed bar isn't an elevated or mature experience. We're not holding a line just for the sake of holding it. We obviously understand. I don't even like waiting in line for a roller coaster."

Harris say the line, at the longest, can take up to 20 minutes. Once you're inside, though, Harris suggests starting with their selection of bottled cocktails -- we suggest the Buttermilk Punch -- as the premade drinks are a great way to kick off your night while you peruse the menu and order up the next round.

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Noah Sanders


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