If you gave a 13 year old Spencer the money to open any business he wanted, it would probably be parlor.
Maybe not exactly Parlor (there’d be more SEGA Dreamcasts and reptiles in there), but close to it. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea to drink and play arcade games, pool, and Skeeball, but it’s definitely mine—and judging by the amount of people crammed in there on weekends, Parlor could be two-to-three times bigger and still be totally full. Hell, my office complex in Singapore had an arcade on one of its lower levels that would just be full of businessmen who needed a break. Who doesn’t want to kill some time shooting zombies in the face with an assault rifle?
There’s really not a lot to say about Parlor, besides the fact it’s in The Grove, it's owned by Sean Baltzell (the man behind Tower Classic Tattooing, Union Barbershop, Takashima Records, and Knife & Flag), and it’s a dope place to hang out. I wish every bar and restaurant was covered in hand-painted art from the Topcoat Signs crew and Duncan Knappen.
Byrd and Barrel’s Nugshack used to live on the patio, but now that everyone wants Byrd to cater their Bar Mitzvahs and weddings, it had to fly away and live life on the road. The patio will get a facelift in early spring, but it’s cold AF right now, so it’s not like you’re going out there anyway.
The drink menu was developed by Dave Greteman (now at Elmwood, formerly at Taste) along with bar manager Casey Colgan, so the drinks are actually really, really good. Don’t worry, though—the bar crew isn’t pretentious and it doesn’t take 15 minutes to get your drink made. I’m a sucker for the Parlor’s Cup (Pimm’s, St. George Gin, Chartreuse, Cucumber, Lime, Vess), but most of the time I find myself drinking from their canned beer selection—Stag for $2.00? Don’t mind if I do. There are also daily specials, like $1.50 High Life on Sunday and $6 Hurricanes on Wednesdays. The full drink menu is at the bottom of this post; if you click the image, you should be able to zoom in.
If anyone wants to get destroyed in Skeeball, shoot me a message.