The space at 835 Exposition Ave. has sat vacant since Fallout Lounge closed in 2012. The tiny bar, which had a nine year run, was a clubhouse of sorts for those seeking an unpretentious place to drink for cheap, chain smoke cigarettes indoors, and dance. The music here was a major lure. Genres were free-flowing, bridging ’80s dark wave with electro and hip-hop. Punk melded with soul. Nearly every notable DJ in the city, at one point, had spun at Fallout Lounge.
(Raise your hand if you remember the night in 2009 when VEGA played to a packed-well-beyond-fire-code-capacity crowd following Crystal Castles’ abrupt cancellation at the Granada 🙋🏼♀️)
This place was special.
So, when I heard that new life would be coming to the building, a dose of sweet, sweet nostalgia surged through my hippocampus. Could it be a reboot? Fallout Lounge 2: Judgement Day. Back to the Fallout Lounge Part II. Fallout Lounge II: The Wrath of Khan.
No. Not the case. And that’s fine. Some things are best kept in the past. Like your fondness of Pogs or that weird crush you had on Donnie Darko. Bury it and move on.
835 Exposition Ave. has been completely gutted and will soon re-open as a whiskey bar. Sean Smith and Antonio Everette of Sandaga 813, a lounge and live music venue down the street, acquired the space in March and will soon open a bar called Whiskeys.
“The goal of this project is to offer premium to rare whiskies,” says Smith. “We’ve put about $90,000 into the renovations…it’s going to be a lot of dark woods. We’re going to offer Pappy Van Winkle. We’ll have everything from tastings and flights to a variety of Old Fashioneds.”
Whiskey is the only spirit they’ll offer here.
“The reason we really like this space is because it’s off the beaten path,” says Smith. “And Expo Park already has a tequila spot, a place for craft beers, and now there will be a place for whiskies. Us business owners are all close. We’re not trying to compete, we’re all just trying to help each other.”
Smith says he also plans to open a cigar bar in the area next spring. Whiskeys is slated for this fall.