It's kind of like trying to find platform 9 and 3 quarters... The lane is empty. Industrial. A spunky security guard dressed in a village people looking police uniform standing by an unmarked door - is the only indication there's something going on in this alley (with his youthful good looks and village people outfit he looks more like an actor playing a security guard than an actual dude that’s not going to let you in or breakup a fight).
In anticipation of our intention he opens an inconspicuous door.
Ding-ding-a-ling – music from a banjo and double base soothes our ears. Taxidermy is big around here. Boars head, bulls heads – I can’t remember if I saw a stag, but there are definitely a bunch of animals poking their heads out from the walls. This place feels like it should be somewhere in America in another era. Somewhere where it’s snowing outside and we are tucked up in an underground cosy bunker. The tables are lit with big preserving jar candles, the walls are covered in fabric and animals, it’s cool higgildy piggildy place that's not the least bit pretentious.
On the way out we compliment the band who are taking a break – and ask if they play every night. “No, only music on Saturday and Sunday nights”. Good to know for next time.
Back onto the street the cute security guard closes the door behind us and wishes us a good night, I find myself looking for clues .... An A4 sized sign with something about Shady pines in a non descript black font on the door is all. You’d never see it until you were up close and even then only if you knew to look for it.
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