Have you ever heard of a secret bar inside a New York City restaurant, for which you can only make reservations from the inside of a phone booth? Well, if you haven’t, here’s your chance!
The bar opened its doors in 2007, but the restaurant in which it’s hidden has been around for a little while longer. The longer story starts when two BFFs, Brian Shebairo and Chris Antista decided to open a hot dog business. After the best research and development ever, riding motorcycles through the east coast for two years tasting hot dogs along the way, they opened Crif Dogs in 2001. It was small and cozy, and even though they had a liquor license, they had never used it. That is until they decided that they could totally open up a bar, if only they had the space.
When the owner of the struggling bubble tea lounge located next door decided to give into Brian and Chris’ pleads to sell, their dream seemed closer than ever. The only problem was that Crif was surrounded by about 60 other places where people could get a drink. They needed something that would completely set them apart from their competition. And they got that ‘something’ when Brian ran into a friend who owned an outdoor flea market. Selling mainly antiques, this friend told Brian about an awesome 1930s phone booth he had just found and wanted to sell. Taking inspiration from his carpenter uncle’s love of building ‘secret’ doors to all the storage spaces, Brian’s brain farted out the best bar idea in the history of brain-farts! A hidden bar that you could only access from the inside of a phone booth, mashing superman and the bat-cave in a really cool, drunk way! They would call the bar Please Don’t Tell.
While it would seem like marketing suicide, they never advertised the bar in any way, not even online. Despite this, it quickly became New York City’s most popular ‘secret’.