America’s most famous prison, Alcatraz, is coming to London—but as a pop-up bar. Smuggle in your liquor and enjoy custom craft cocktails in an orange jumpsuit inside Alcotraz (see what they did there?).
The bar inspired by the San Francisco prison is unlocking its doors in east London on September 28. Participants will be given an orange jumpsuit and an inmate number. “Inmates” will then “smuggle” in their own closed bottle of liquor and be led into “cold metallic cells,” according to the company.
Once inside, you can drink with conviction. Expert mixologists, or “working inmates of Alcotraz,” will create bespoke cocktails for guests based on their personal preferences and the liquor they brought, says Sam Shearman, the founder of Inventive Productions—the company behind the bar.
Matt Martin Photography.
It’s suggested guests bring base spirits such as vodka, gin, rum, tequila or whisky. Courtesy of Matt Martin Photography.
“Alcotraz is split into various cells to cater for gangs of convicts and also a visitation area for smaller groups,” Shearman says. “Once inside guests should aim to keep their drinking a secret from the Warden, who is not aware of the wrong doings taking place in his prison.”
Instead of typical music heard in a bar, Alcotraz will feature acoustic inmate songs and authentic prison sounds, according to Shearman. The pop-up was created because of Shearman’s fascination with Alcatraz, who adds the bar does not intend to “romanticize imprisonment but rather create an engaging experience for guests that gently opens the door to worlds only seen by most in fiction.”
Matt Martin Photography
A 350 ml bottle is the recommended size each person should bring. Courtesy of Matt Martin Photography.
“Our ambition is to redefine traditional cocktail bar environments,” Shearman says. “Where in traditional bars cocktails are ordered from menus and restricted to the owners design, we are trying to allow guests to bring their own drink of choice and have cocktails made specifically for them.”
Inmate sentencing lasts for 1 hour and 45 minutes and includes four cocktails for £30 (or about $39) per guest. The prison is open Thursday to Saturday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. The only con: It closes December 17.