Soap Box

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A Short Bar Hop

Posted by eemilla on August 1, 2009

Out to see a show and enjoy a few drinks away from the sticky beer covered floor of the Orange Peel, we stopped into Rankin Vault.  The scene wasn’t for us: overcrowded and over-cleavaged.  As far as the drinks, we only stayed for one overpriced Sapphire with a twist.  The eight dollar price tag was okay, but (as my husband so colorfully and aptly described it) the bartender totally jerked my drink off; by the time it arrived in my glass it was about half water and half gin.  I like my gin chilled with a twist but don’t short my pour and then melt a jigger of ice to cover it up.

As we moved closer to the Peel, we passed the newly opened Possana, but they looked about to close so we asked for a menu and crossed the street and ambled down to The New French Bar.  I’ve never been particularlly impressed with the food, and I cannot stomach the permeated smoke stench of the bar even for the Biltmore Ave people watching window (and even when smoking isn’t permitted before nine pm), but they have a nice little courtyard in the back that abuts to Diana Wortham.  When they have live music the dropped area is the stage, and they often set up a little bar station close by.  As a plus they have a few tables that you can use in the breezeway to do the Biltmore Avenue people watching (from this vantage point you can also gawk at Marble Slab customers).  These tables can be either self service or wait service depending on the number of servers and their table load; on the night we went the bartender tried unsuccessfully to have a server visit our table, so we took the self service option.  The advertised special was $4 Sapphires, but I promise you whatever gin was in the Sapphire bottle wasn’t Sapphire (maybe Seagram’s or something else from the well).  Although our service and drinks weren’t great, I still like the New New as a place for a cheap drink before you get to where you’re going.

Rankin Vault

Rankin Vault

New French Bar

New French Bar

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