Game of Thrones pop-up bar opens: ‘DC always was King’s Landing’
Washington DC bar opens up for the summer, giving fans of the HBO show a chance to wander the Seven Kingdoms and sit on the Iron Throne
On the first day of summer, winter arrived in Washington.
At the opening of a new Game of Thrones pop-up bar in the US capital on Wednesday, residents trekked beyond the wall and out of reach of DCs heat and humidity to enjoy cool drinks and some icy comments about the president.
Inside the immersive bar, fans of the HBO series wandered the Seven Kingdoms with their iPhones poised and vied for a spot in line to sit on the Iron Throne. The shows soundtrack played as bartenders served up cocktails with names such as The Lannisters Send Their Regards and Dothraquiri.
Periodically, a guest would order a tequila and grapefruit tonic, and a bell would ding followed by shouts of Shame! Shame! a reference to the traumatic scene in which religious fanatics force former queen Cersei is forced to walk naked through the streets of Kings Landing.
Guests enter in a room created to look like the North, the home of the Stark family, who are the closest thing to heroes in the morally ambiguous show. A sacred Weirwood tree made of foam stretches from behind the bar to across the ceiling. Next door, in the assassins temple the House of Black and White, the bar has replicated the killers Hall of Faces with plaster molds.
In another room, a dragon puffs smoke. And in the throne room, guests take their turn posing on the Iron Throne, the royal seat of power forged of swords in Westeros, the imaginary continent where the show takes place.
The pub is the latest creation by Drink Company, which has found a niche transforming its trio of bars into immersive experiences that has included the Christmas Bar and Cherry Blossom Super Mario.
Once upon a time there was a tiki bar, and that was these fantasy environments, and this, in a way, is a modern-day equivalent of a tiki bar, said Drink Companys Derek Brown. We have great cocktails. The environment is fantasy-oriented its an escape, hopefully.
A welcome escape, perhaps, for some residents of the nations capital, whose voters chose Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump last year by a margin of 90% to 4%.
I dont want to think about Trump! Im happy right now I want to stay happy, joked James Jenkins, a dentist.
He preferred to admire craftsmanship in the Hall of Faces, and was duly impressed by the cocktails. His choice was the Lady Mormont, a gin drink mixed with honey passionfruit named after the formidable girl leader who sides with hero Jon Snow at a pivotal moment.
The current US president, Jenkins said, most resembled Tywin Lannister, the wealthiest man in the Seven Kingdoms, who met an unfortunate end when his son Tyrion shot him dead on the toilet.
Hes sneaky, shadowy, lurky, Jenkins explained.
His friend, Kevin Michaud, a dental student who joined him at the bar, suggested Trump was more similar to Olenna Tyrell, the sharp-tongued matriarch played by Diana Rigg.
Hes petty, hes quick-witted, Michaud said of Trump.
But he doesnt have the same swagger, Jenkins said.
In another room, Jodie Custodio took a different view. She thought Trump most resembled Joffrey Baratheon, the tyrannical and sadistic young king despised by many viewers.
Its funny there are a lot of political parallels that Im able to draw from this show, which is highly fantastical, and House of Cards, which kind of aligns more toward the truth, with reality, which is stranger than fiction, Custodio said.
Kenia Zelaya, of Falls Church, Virginia, had arrived dressed as Daenerys Targaryen, the so-called mother of dragons who has spent six seasons so far plotting to reclaim her crown. As she descended from the iron throne in a white homemade dress and long blonde wing, her uncanny resemblance to the character attracted several requests for photographs.
In a spare moment, Zelaya considered the comparison with the politics of the real world.
I think DC always was Kings Landing, she said.
The bar will be open every day through 27 August but not during the show, so that patrons and staff can enjoy it. The series returns 16 July on HBO and Sky Atlantic.