The Satellite, formerly (and sort of still) Club Spaceland, in Silver Lake has started up a new cocktail program in its “upstairs” bar, aka “bar a few steps up from its main room.” The new drink night, “Mixology Mondays,” by bartender Amy Rieckelman enlists the help of Drago Centro’s Jaymee Mandeville to create a new themed cocktail menu every week. And if the event is successful, they’ll make it an every night thing.
To entice early arrivals, the Satellite happy hour is from 6pm to 9pm when cocktails are $5 and well and PBRs are $2.
I went last night to check it out during their Mad Men-themed cocktail night. Having not been to Spaceland since…it opened(?) I was amazed that the club still pretty much looked the same. Minus the cigarette smoke-filled upstairs bar, that is. Yeah, you’re no longer allowed to smoke up there. The shiny decor, the long bar when you first walk in, the stage on the right and the back room separated by a wall of windows totally took me back to when I was a shy(er), awkward 20-something who knocked back Jack and Cokes and White Russians and watched the performing bands.
If I were still that girl I would have LOVED the fact that they were serving up classic cocktails for $5. Hey, I worked as a marketing assistant at Book Soup in West Hollywood back then so cheap drinks were always appreciated. But as a wayy older lady now, happy hours no longer excite me. I’d rather pay full price for a well-made drink than $5 for a watered-down, subpar one. Why waste my sobriety on something I don’t enjoy, I say! Unfortunately, the snobby woman with a picky palate was the one who went to Satellite last night to check out the five cocktails they were serving up.
Basically, I couldn’t finish any of them save the Manhattan. In short, the Algonquin had too much pineapple juice, the Jack Rose too much grenadine, the Bronx too much OJ and the punch too much lemon. The Manhattan wasn’t the best Manhattan but at least it wasn’t shaken. And since the cocktails were only $5 each, I couldn’t get too mad at them or the bartender. But it still was sad to walk away from the row of barely touched drinks abandoned on the cigarette-burned table.
But forget today’s Caroline. The Satellite bar isn’t for the likes of me. It’s for the younger one who’s still open to making mistakes to figure out what she wants in life. That includes drinking for the purpose of getting drunk and dating out-of-work comedians. And she would appreciate the fact that this is a happy hour that goes beyond the usual well cocktails. There’s some variety, effort and history here and they’ve even paired it with Dean Martin songs on the sound system. Bonus that in that upstairs bar she can stake out a seat right up against the window with a stellar view of the stage. Order up the whole list of cocktails before happy hour ends, set them up on the table and hole in for the night til the bands come on.
Next Monday’s theme is Tiki and Jaymee herself will be behind the bar so I may have to come back for that. Star Wars geeks must come back October 29th when the bar is done up like the Star Wars space cantina!