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Monday, May 12, 2008

Thing 110: Helix Bar

Well, my vision of "patio week" fell a bit shy, but I need to tell you all about another patio that I just love, so think of this more as a "patio installment." As always, chime in with your favorites for drinking outside!

The Helix Hotel has a fabulous and funky bar with neon lighting, white pleather, candy martinis and a gorgeous deck where one can sip cocktails beneath Christmas lights and enjoy a breezy or humid evening.

Helix is actually my local -- I alternate going there with Stoney's depending on whether I'm in the mood for grit or glitter -- but most of the clientele are actually staying in the hotel and so are different every time. Its one of the things I really like about the place -- whereas Stoney's provides a reliable cast of neighborhood regulars, you never quite know who you might encounter at Helix. Business travelers, German tourists, bachelor parties, they all rotate through. You will often find yourself in conversations with all sorts of interesting or obnoxious people and sometimes it can even be quite pleasant.

The staff are always wonderful, which is another reason I really like the place. The bartenders and waitresses are all quick to refill your drink, make conversation and just generally take care of you -- I've befriended quite a few of them, and they are all nice people.

The decor and the drinks are all neon and funky. Over sized pillows in bold prints, white pleather banquettes, lighting that changes from green to pink to blue. The martinis mimic the scenery in all different shades of pastel. I'm a fan of the 'pajama party' myself, which comes in pale green and tastes just like a gummy worm. Their newest drink, the Mango Sex, was created by a friend of mine in a drink contest recently held by Helix. The mango juice, triple sec and coconut rum concoction beat out my entry of watermelon juice and lemon vodka. Ask for the sweet and cool Mango Sex when you stop by.

And finally, there is that glorious patio. It's more of a deck, in a courtyard in the hotel, and there are all manner of plastic deck chairs, wooden benches and tall, metallic chairs and tables. Eclectic, mismatched Christmas lights are strung up above the deck for mood lighting, but otherwise it is cool and dark, comfortable and homey. Because rooms of the hotel look out onto the courtyard, the deck does close at midnight.

Enjoy this beautiful spring evening with a martini, some pink lights and white pleather, and a bit of fresh air.

One Year Ago: Sushi Taro

Coming Up: Embassy Open House Day