When musicians refer to their music as being “underground” they’re creating these songs out of love. The same could be said about Ronnie and his team’s unveiling of Snake & Barrel — Batch’s new basement cocktail bar.
“We’re not trying to hide but we also aren’t trying to be everything to everybody,” said Ronnie Spece, owner of Batch. “I wanted to have a little mystery spot — an ‘in the know’ kind of thing.”
The underground bar at 118 E. Congress St., which is scheduled to open later this month, is the offshoot concept of the whiskey paradise Batch has been known to be since it opened its doors. Snake & Barrel, which is described as hiding in “plain sight with an understated entrance.”
“If anybody has walked down Congress — on our block — has walked right by the door and it’s likely no one has ever noticed it,” said Spece. “You know, it looks like this little storage door and it’s right there off the sidewalk of Congress. So, it is a different entrance.”
Therefore, the cocktail bar has its own doorway and you can’t get to it by walking through Batch on the top level. The basement’s hours of operation will also be different from the upstairs bar. As of right now, Snake & Barrel is planning on being open 5 p.m. – 1 a.m. on Wednesday – Saturday, which is subject to change.
As you can see in these photos, the 2,000-square-foot space is still getting its final touches. The 35-foot bar is hard to miss, though, and is going to offer a selection of spirits, beer, wine, and craft cocktails — well-done cocktails that won’t take several minutes to mix.
In addition to the new bar, the team is building out a boutique bottle shop next door at 120 E. Congress St., which is currently the M.E.B. apartment’s lobby.
Here’s a history lesson about the building: It’s actually listed as the First Hittenger Block on the National Register of Historic Places and dates back to the late 1800s. The location housed a lot of businesses over the years including a piano store and the Harry A. Drachman Shoe Company.
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