Friday, February 17, 2017
Mr. Simon - Botanico Alchimista
Italian interior and retail design company Visual Display helped to create a magical hidden cocktail bar in the city of Udine in northeastern Italy. Called Mr. Simon - Botanico Alchimista, the invitation-only bar is in a secret location, behind a restaurant and accessed through its bathroom and broom closet. After receiving the invitation, one is given the address and access code (which changes daily). One must find the restaurant and enter the access code into a white vintage telephone on a wall. Once approved, one slips through a secret door in the aforementioned bathroom and broom closet, where one must ring the bell on a door in a cement wall. And that is how to enter the exclusive 25-seat, 540 sq.ft. cocktail lounge that is the dark and dramatic home of one fictitious Mr. Simon, an esteemed botanical alchemist who has traveled the world collecting curiosities, tinctures and recipes for his sizable menu of artisanal cocktails. I love that the entrance vestibule is papered in Piero Fornasetti's cloud wallcovering. And the sparkling bathroom covered in beveled mirror subway tiles is spectacular.