If you’re passing the alley between 14th and 15th that runs parallel to Market and Larimer streets downtown at night, you may notice some strange-looking activity. It may look like a bunch of well-dressed party kids are hanging out looking for drugs, hookers, stray cats, or anything else you would normally avoid in a dark alley, but they are in fact looking for the door to Slim 7, a new nightclub that opened last week. There’s no sign, so don’t bother looking for one, but it’s not difficult to find; just follow the trickle of cocktailers wandering around the alley. Soon you’ll find the way (it’s near the end of the alley on the 15th St. side).
So why all the so-called secrecy? Beats me, honestly, but my pal Bill Ward who is the managing partner of the spot says that all the cool kids in NYC are doing it, so there you go. Inside, a corridor leads to the main bar, where the space opens up into a white-walled basement speakeasy with a kaleidescope of high-tech lighting, a DJ and a scattering of mod cocktail tables, most of which will be reserved if you show up past 10 p.m. on a weekend night. The club opens at 7 p.m., and they serve a small food menu, but if Saturday’s visit was any indication, this will become a trendy late-night juice joint where bottle service is more the scene than table service. The cocktail menu is clever and brief, with everything in sevens: 7 specialty drinks named for the 7 deadly sins (“Lust” is a potent champagne cocktail worth a try), 7 wines by the glass, etc.
In terms of comparisons, if you like the scene at Hush on Larimer, you’ll dig Slim 7. And if nothing else, you’ll be one of the first in town to say you found the entrance. Bragging rights and cool cocktails? That’s worth wandering an occasional alley to me.