What’s Next for UnderTow?

Marilyn HawkesSeptember 17, 2020
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The popular Arcadia bar, UnderTow, at 3620 E. Indian School Rd., will reopen in its original location beneath Sip Coffee & Beer on Tuesday, Sept. 22, with six-foot social distancing at 50 percent or less capacity, according to Barter & Shake Hospitality’s Kailee Asher. “Realistically (because of the bar’s small size), we’ll be closer to 25-30 percent capacity.” Seating will be by reservation only.

But don’t get too comfortable there, because the underground bar will be moving into Barter & Shake’s Century Grand building next door sometime in early 2021, in the space vacated by the Century Grand restaurant, which is now permanently closed.

“UnderTow’s lease is technically up at the end of November, but I don’t know if they’re going to let us go month to month until we can reopen the other space,” Asher says. “I don’t have timelines and construction hasn’t started yet.”

After UnderTow opens next week, Prohibition-era themed Century Grand’s Platform 18 and Grey Hen will reopen Tuesday, Sept. 29 or sometime later that week, Asher says. “The Grey Hen has transformed from a bottle shop into more of a turn-of-the-century-inspired apothecary. We installed a fully functioning bar in there and will be launching a completely new cocktail menu in that space.”

When UnderTow and Century Grand closed in mid-March, the owners anticipated they’d be shuttered for a couple of months. In the interim, they’ve stayed connected to their customers by hosting virtual happy hours, offering weekly cocktail recipes and selling premade bottled cocktails. They’ve also been selling bottles of liquor and UnderTow merchandise through their online store.

“It’s been really fun getting to know our customers more deeply (through the virtual offerings), but I think everyone is collectively just over this. They’re ready to go out and have a relatively normal experience,” Asher says. “It’s been an interesting six months.”

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