NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — All the way from London, England, most people might not think to take inside the Red Phone Booth just a few blocks off Broadway.
But if guests do decide to take a trip inside, a prohibition experience awaits.
To get inside the cocktail bar, guest must dial a secret number on the 1930’s antique rotary phone, and if successful, the back of the booth opens to a world 100 years ago, far different from the world outside on Rosa L. Parks Boulevard.
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But where did this come from? What’s the backstory behind what appears to be a random red phone booth in downtown Nashville?
Turns out it was a dream inspired by founder and CEO Stephen de Haan’s grandfather, who was a pharmacist during prohibition.
“Our drinks are there for prescriptions, the back bar is the pharmacy, the cigars are inhalants, and the shot of course is a vaccine, so that’s what we do here, and it all ties back to my grandfather,” de Haan said.
A dream than was planted many years ago when he attempted to make a drink for his grandfather and failed.
“He takes a sip of this, and for dramatic effect, he spits it out on his kitchen floor,” de Haan said.
After the initial scolding, his grandfather passed down a cocktail book from the 1930’s titled “Here’s How” and he still uses the book today for all drink-making.
After officially opening its doors in 2019, de Haan said the bar prides itself on the classic cocktails, like their award-winning old-fashioned.
The ice is hand-chipped, all juices are squeezed fresh, and customer service is crucial, just like the old days de Haan remembered.
De Haan said after spending a summer in Naples, Italy, the bar offers Neapolitan pizza for guest to enjoy at the bar.
From the Italian leather couches, vintage cigar lockers, black and whites on the TVs, de Haan notes there’s mystery and discovery behind every corner in the bar.
Even the artwork, including one piece that emulates what he believes a date between his grandparents might have looked like at The Red Phone Booth.
While de Haan admits his grandfather didn’t know he inspired the dream today, he said he’s confident he knows, while looking up and smiling.
The Red Phone Booth is open seven days a week, for tourist, locals and anyone of age looking to escape reality and turn back 100 years or so.
The Red Phone Booth in Nashville serves as the brand’s second location, after opening in Atlanta. Now the bar has added Dallas, Texas to it’s list of locations and plans to open in Miami, Florida soon.
The cocktail bar offers membership options for loyal customers where guest are invited to make reservations, attend private tastings and are offered a private cigar locker. Anyone is open to apply for a membership, though it is not required to enter the bar.
The Red Phone Booth does have a dress code for guests, but they’ve been known offer a jacket to those who show up without one.