New bars pop up all the time, especially in bustling and cultural cities like Portland, Oregon. However, not all of them have as interesting a hook as Pink Rabbit, which just opened its doors for the first time yesterday. Barista Billy Wilson and mixologist Tyler Stevens went about creating the drink menu for the new establishment in an unusual way: All of the drinks are based on lyrics from The National songs.
When crafting the menu, Wilson and Stevens began by choosing select lyrics, like “Uncle Valentine” from “Day I Die,” “Rosy-Minded Fuzz” from “Apartment Story,” “What Did Harvard Teach You” from “Sea of Love,” and “Suckers Luck” from “Exile Vilify.” From there, they commissioned Portland creative agency Jolby & Friends to design a poster for each phrase. Once they had the visuals, Stevens then created the actual cocktails, using them as inspiration. The bar itself, by the way, is named after The National song “Pink Rabbits.”
If you’re wondering what any of this tastes like, Stevens describes “Suckers Luck” as “moody, deep, spiritual.” Stevens says of the customer experience, “For the guest, I see the look on their face — they just close the menu and say, ‘What should I get?’ The question I ask is, ‘What are you in the mood for?’ Our posters reflect a mood.”
Stevens also said of the bar’s mission, “Our identity is in music, literature, and art, and we want the cocktails to be inspired by those things. […] There’s a lot of nice places to go in the Pearl [district] for food and drink, but we want a personal place that is an extension of someone’s living room. We want food to be affordable, and happy hour to be fun, exciting, and not an afterthought. It’s all about what the community needs.”