No Cokes coming out of this machine
“Ugh! This stupid Coke machine won’t take my change. A Canadian quarter is still a quarter, you know! Man, you’d think with all the technology we have these days that a simple—Woah.” That eureka moment is when you realize that vending machine isn’t just an uncooperative chunk of metal; it’s actually a door.
Racking your brain, debating whether or not something like this could lead to Narnia, or if you were supposed to remember a secret password or special knock, you crack it open and peer in. While a giant lion is not waiting for you on the other side, there is a sweet, swanky little lounge. How did they fit all this crap in a Coke machine?
A nod to the prohibition era
Well, they didn’t, dummy. This is actually an old-timey thing, mega popular in the times of prohibition. Since you couldn’t just up and chug a handle on your porch like the good ol’ days, people had to keep alcohol consumption as hush-hush as possible.
The concept is that of a speakeasy. This particular setup is Flask, a tucked-away cocktail lounge masquerading as a vending machine in The Press sandwich shop.
Although I think the whole idea is pretty intriguing, and it may be gaining a little attention in Shanghai and similar spots, we can’t expect this to turn into a full-blown fad.
A unique atmosphere: international trend re-setter?
I’m not saying it isn’t a cool feeling to stumble upon a hidden room, or to get an invitation to one. However, advertising that an establishment serves liquor is paramount to the success of many restaurants, clubs, and bars.
When all is said and done, the actual original purpose of a speakeasy has been lost, but the all-too-exclusive VIP feeling that bathes entering patrons is enough to pique interest across the globe.
Flask is definitely a more tasteful version of your great grandpa’s watering hole, balancing old and new styles to create a wholly unique atmosphere for anyone who dares to enter the portal. Heck, I don’t even drink and I still want to pop in and check it out. It isn’t likely to become an international trend, but this location has the masses flocking.
All images by Shen Zhonghai via DesignBoom.