Weekend Hangover Report or " How I learned to love Imbibe"!

Dios Mio! Imbibe I did! Did anyone get the license plate of that old Ford pickup truck that ran over my head last night in Nob Hill? I’m still picking hay out of my hair. Ouch. Is that goat #2 I smell? More good times that involve booze in the old Duke City. I've got the Bloody Marys all lined up for the usual suspects... my houseguests. Well you’re not gonna believe this but I woke up with more than a headache this morning. No, I don’t mean her. I woke up with a brand new key. A key to my very own Cigar Locker at Imbibe! I know what you’re thinking. And yes… I paid for that. I am at this time fully prepared to take a ration of shit. (I don't recommend this but you can skip to the bottom for the highlight since this is a pretty long article.) What happened since your last visit you say? I thought you’d never ask.

As the sun went down on this sleepy little town, down around… FringeCrest and wouldn’t you like to know, several lady friends wanted to give Imbibe a reprieve. I had already agreed after hearing from Paul the manager anyway. Let’s get there before the roof is crowded I cried. And well… the rest is history.

Being A. well aware of the dress code and B. being the guy who is usually over dressed and C. planning this little stop in advance this time… I perused the closet. Whew… come up for air Mike. Whaddya know… new schmancy sport jacket. Well would you look at that. Lo and behold… brand spanking new virgin white leather mocassins. Shapow! And out the door we go. Can you just hear the circus music?

7 O’Clock, time to rock. Hello Chris. “Is Paul around?” “Yah, why?” Yada yada. @#$! “Yah, well I’m back” “Well I hope you have a good time tonight” “Thanks, I’m sure I will”. This is approximately 50% of the gentle ball busting I will receive tonight as word of “Martini Mike” drifts through the establishment like so many whisps of delicious Dominican cigar smoke. Pretty lady. Humidor. Montecristo White Label. More pretty ladies. I carefully select the Campbelltown Glen Scotia 1992 Cask Strength Scotch from their incredible Scotch and Cognac list. 2 rocks please. Mmmm.

Paul and I are united! Paul is Sicilian. I’m sorry if I pissed him off. So then I rolled my busted balls back up and put them in my pocket. No, but seriously… I didn’t know he was a Paisan! Why didn’t ya say so?! I am part Sicilian, but enough about me, let's get back to Paul and Imbibe. Very nice guy. Took me and a buddy on a grand tour. Very courteous and professional. He described the various vinos, and the vabulous VIP booths. He demonstrated how the lighting changes color on one side of the bar. He showed me the state of the art DJ booth. He showed me a case that contains Louis XIII… “Cognac of celebrities, artists, and politicians” as they say on Remy Martin’s website. We danced. OK, not really.

We went up to the roof which was just perfect at that time. We discussed a bagpiper playing on the corner at sunset to draw attention from Central. We discussed whiskies and cigars. They hung me over the balcony by my feet. OK, again, not really. We headed back down.
We look at a cigar locker. We look at the separate humidification systems that are protecting your investment. I am growing weak. My money clip is burning a hole in my pocket. Engelbert Humperdink keeps a cigar locker here? The Pope keeps a cigar locker here too? No shit? Start reeling me in boys. Squeak squeak squeak.

I have now warmed up. Whatever shall I drink next? Paul suggests one of their many delicious signature drinks. The dice stop at “Chocolate Chipotle Martini”. Yah, you heard me right. This is a 1921 Tequila Crema with a splash of Mescal, garnished with fresh Chipotle pepper and chocolate shavings. Damn that was good. One of the ladies has a “Wasabitini”… pretty good. I had a taste of the Hatch Green Chili infused Vodka that Paul makes himself on site. Mucho Caliente. Mucho Delicioso.

Box? Spanish Cedar, mahogany finish. Platinum Membership. Eye level. Near the main aisle. Stocked with 10 premium cigars. Hmmm… Application. Moolah. Key. What are the other fringe benefits? VIP card with exclusive access to discounts, special events, and VIP line! One time VIP room reserved with complimentary Champagna toast. Bi-monthly cigar program that includes a new, promoted, complimentary cigar when you visit.

Drop everything. Katie is here. We follow her like puppies back upstairs. The sun has set. Where did all these people come from?! They must have snuck in while my back was turned. This is why Jesse James always sat with his back to the wall. It is not overcrowded but there are already no more tables. We lean. We quickly get to know the friendly upstairs bar staff. Colin. Jordan. Katie. They cater to our every desire… mixologically. Is that a word? Well it is now! Martinis in hand we try not to stare at Katie. The evening air is just the right temperature and there is no wind. You can not see the stars but the twinkle in Katie’s eyes is good enough for me. Life is good.

So given that we split an entire Caesar salad 7 or 8 hours ago me and my buddy are sure we can drink one or two more. I will have a “Crown Side Car” please sir. This includes a liquor I have recently switched to in my home bar... "Prunier Orange Liqueur" from the Cognac region of France. This also contains fresh citrus juice, and of course… Crown Royal. Oh, the salt rimmed glass was a nice surprise. Hey, guess what. They can and do serve in glass up here! The plastic cup thing was obviously misinformation. My sleepy pal has “The Imbibe”. This is a classic Manhattan with Gentleman Jack, and a cinnamon dusted cherry! Nice touch.

I finally need the “necessary room”. I let the stairwell doorman know. I ask if he will let me right back in, front of line. Yes. And he does. Thanks. Many many pretty girls now. Ugh Ugh (That was my best caveman grunt I think). I pay the bill. We are sad to go. But, the after hours party is at Martini Mike's as usual! I shake hands with everyone. I thank them all for their gracious hospitality. Paul is lost in the crowd downstairs and my pal is heading for the devil’s highway fast. So… thank you Paul!

I got the warm and fuzzies on this trip to Imbibe. It felt a little “Vegas” up on the roof. I bought a cigar locker. I am already planning on going back this week. I am telling my friends. I drank the Kool-Aid. I love it. I will see you there. Tell them Martini Mike sent you! Let the thrashing commence.

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Comment by Michael P. "Martini Mike" D'Arco on June 30, 2008 at 10:20am
Nice coat. That's not the dress code.. I was just saying. I used to have that same coat!

Dress code is don't dress like a slob?
I know "collared shirt" was a definite for men... according to staff.
I may have seen some T-Shirts sneak in but I am keeping a tight lip on that.
No muscle shirts- even for women.
Pretend you're going out in Vegas is a good rule of thumb.
Comment by Michael P. "Martini Mike" D'Arco on June 30, 2008 at 3:56pm
true- that is funny!
Matter of fact I once owned a miniature goat and I would take it in my pickup truck out to the local bar patios! You may have seen me at whatever Geckos used to be called around 1995. I had a sandwich bag of munchies for the girls to feed him. They do not smell so good... the goats I mean, not the girls. Oops... Verbose Mike strikes again.

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