Do you remember the story of the Velveteen Rabbit?
The children’s book about the stuffed toy that longs to be loved by his owner, but he isn’t fancy or expensive like the other toys, so he gets looked over and passed up, over and over and over.
I’m not sure about the real story behind the naming of the Arts District’s newest bar (opened just over a month), but for me the two really parallel, so we’re going to go with it.
“It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
Just like the threadbare children’s toy, the Velveteen Rabbit isn’t glitzy or pretentious. It is a very basic bar with a few eclectic chairs, couches, and there really isn’t a ceiling to speak of, but they have some darn good drinks.
I believe, no, I’m positive I have had one—okay three, of the best whisky sours in my life sitting in one of their funky retro-Victorian chairs. The drink itself was not too tart and had a hint of cinnamon—something I had never thought of for my whisky sours, but I really think they’re on to something. What I really loved was the cute little picture of a rabbit that was etched out in the foam on top. Cuter than anything I’ve had from a coffee shop. I guess that’s why they call it “The Improved Whisky Sour”. I enjoyed it so much I forgot to take a picture… Well, that just gives me an excuse to return and for you to check back to see just how adorable this little drink is–or just meet me down there for one.
Fair warning to all you diehard cosmo drinkers, all their drinks are just a little bit different…this isn’t the place for you if you don’t have a least a little bit of adventure inside. So even though the bartender may pour you a rum and coke, don’t be afraid to try the Eros, Green B*tch or The Crucifix in a Death Hand.
They also have a really cool light installation that changes patterns as it dances along the textured wall… it’s really fun after you’ve had a few beverages…
The place is very neighborhood friendly—meaning it’s not over priced, you can always find some old school downtown peeps roaming around, and it isn’t trying to be cool–it just is. According to the stories the bar took quite a bit of time to see the light of day, and the two ladies who own it had to really roll up their sleeves to make their dream happen. At the end of the fairy tale the little boy did love the rabbit more than any other toy so his wish came true, the rabbit became a real bunny. (Sorry if that was a spoiler, but the book did come out in 1922.)
So just like a fairy tale, with a lot of love their dream became real too.
The Velveteen Rabbit is located at 1218 South Main Street. Hours: 5 pm to 2 am.