I really like TheSafehouse. I like it so much that I almost don’t want to talk about it. It’s not very big, and I love that there’s always parking up that ramp. What I like most about it is the location. It’s right between anywhere I would ever need to go on any given night. They open early enough to be the drink destination spot while I’m waiting for everyone else to come out at their standard weekend time of 11:30pm. And they’re open throughout the week, too, so I know I’ll always have a pau hana option. As at The Manifest, you don’t really need to be with anyone when you go there because you can just talk-story with the bartenders. The interior reminds me of Apartment3 a little (RIP), but they have taken on their own identity as the safe little house by the big, crazy ruckus concert venue. I’ve been in there after a show when it seemed the world descended onto the little lounge, bombarding the bartenders for shots. And I’ve been the first one in there on a random weeknight for a finely crafted cocktail. I was the first one there the night they introduced food, and got to chat up Chef Abe Jazmin who rents their kitchen. With experience ranging from the Kahala Mandarin to his own Tiki food truck, he has specific ideas of what food should be like in a bar with two giant chandeliers.
Even though Safehouse has been open for a month or two by now, it seemed a lot of people I know hadn’t had a chance to check it out. Last Wednesday changed that, as DJs Compose and Anit, and bartender superstar Maria Burke launched their new weekly event, The Crush. With Chinatown taking as long as midnight to pick up on most Wednesdays, it’s nice to have an earlier option for non-service industry people (a.k.a. me) to go. I didn’t expect so many others to arrive early, but they did. If this becomes a new Wednesday trend, that’s fine with me.
Safehouse is also starting a Saturday weekly called Treatment with a mod squad of creatives behind the tables that should be a nice alternative to whatever else is going on. With DJs like Grady Gillan (from the Aloha Friday zine and website), Davey Shindig (from 808mixtapes) and artist Marika Emi, I don’t think anyone will be hearing Rihanna unless it’s a Plastic Plates remix.
“I hate the word eclectic when describing music, but that’s the vibe we’re going for,” Gillan told me after a Facebook posting in which he wrote, “I promise you’ll hear your favorite song.” There are a lot of people out there (myself included) that enjoy a wider variety of music when they’re out–from Stevie Wonder to Daft Punk to Talking Heads to anything CLASSIXX. It’s definitely not for the masses, but it’s not like the little lounge can hold them all, anyway.
The party being free will help. I’m going to be real curious to see how crowds receive the Treatment after listening to the bands next door. I’ll definitely be there.