Speakeasies got their name from the practice of “speaking quietly” about such a place in public, or when present (with an illicit drink) – all to avoid alerting law officers and landlords of bootlegging during the Prohibition era.
Backed by Ryan McKenzie, Patent Pending sits beneath the famed Radio Wave Building in the NoMad neighborhood – home to the world’s first recorded electrical vibrations, now serving vibrant libations. To enter the prized speakeasy, patrons buzz-in at street level; sink into the candlelit coffee shop, and slip through the concealed door. Straight passed the charged bar on the left, guests can access The Lab where expertly-crafted cocktails by Dead Rabbit alums await once advancing through the raw, cave-like archway, on the right.
The new, stylish 40-seat space – the late electrical lab of Nikola Tesla – is adorned with large bronze mirrors along the walls, matte-black mirrors across the ceiling, and restored penny tiles under all footing. Various seating options present itself: a lofty lounge banquette, cozy corner rail, high-top row, and custom marble bar with shadowy bulb lighting. The cocktail chamber helps with the extension of indoor dining during the on-going COVID-19 virus; though is best for private group gatherings (like celebrating a co-worker’s promotion) since there is a separate restroom and short “dance floor” to move on.
The sketchbook menu of expert drawings cocktails remains the same as Patent Pending. It is divided into five Teslian categories: Energy, Frequency, Vibration, Descent, and Legacy guiding imbibers through a jolting journey of the storied space. Frequent orders include Light Me Up, a heady blend of bourbon, Jamaican rum, mango black tea, Amaro, yellow chartreuse, lime, pineapple, plus Szechuan peppercorn for the frosty rim; and Impossible Idea which mixes Chichicapa mezcal, Navazos rum, blackened banana, Luxardo Maraschino, Oloroso sherry, and Nardini Amaro.
Seasonal highlights feature barrel-aging which adds great flavor, balance, and more science to The Lab. Aged in oak barrels for up to nine months before imbibing, Odd Love, a rested Old Fashioned riff with rye whiskey, Spanish brandy, Cherry Heering Liqueur, in-house Patent Coffee cold brew, walnut liquor, Absinthe, Angostura bitters, and a single cherry garnish over a cube rock; while Hit by a Taxi combines Japanese whisky, Armagnac, sweet vermouth, mild Pu’erh tea, Curacao, and star anise, releasing dry, roasted notes like a glass of Chardonnay.
À la carte food items vary from elevated grilled cheese sandwiches to caramel rum gelato. To prevent potential wait times, reservations for a promising prix fixe menu are open, including three dishes, three drinks, and tip, priced at $75.00 on the outdoor patio and $90.00 indoors. Takeout and delivery is available, too.
Like Nikola Tesla, The Lab and Patent Pending team performs experiments nightly, thinking outside the box, persevering against all odds (amidst a pandemic). What is next for them is actually through the next door, so remember to speak easy.
Created by Nick Ruiz, General Manager at The Lab and Patent Pending
- 5 oz. Rittenhouse Rye
- 1/2 oz. Spanish Brandy
- 1/4 oz. Cherry Heering Liqueur
- 1/4 oz. cold brew syrup
- 6 dashes Nux Alpina Walnut Liqueur
- 1 dash Absinthe
- 1 dash Angostura bitters
Glassware: Large Rocks Glass
Preparation: Add all ingredients to a mixing glass, then add ice and stir for 25-30 seconds. Taste for proper dilution and pour over a 2-inch ice cube. Garnish with a Luxardo Maraschino cherry.