There is a certain vibe found in hotel bars: a feeling of emptiness, of customers never there long enough to gain a rapport and menus that seek to make their customers comfortable and nothing more. So Phatsy Kline's Parlor Lounge, an extension of the Inn at 2nd and C in Eureka's Historic Eagle House, is a rare pleasure and the coolest hotel bar I have ever been to.

The bar sits adjacent to the inn's ballroom, the balance of vintage and modern aesthetics blending to make you feel like your hippest self. The old building sings of ghost stories and the reclaimed redwood wine barrels and lumber recovered from the bottom of the Humboldt Bay infuse it with local history. In the bar, velvet booths wrap around featured paintings by local artists. Turquoise and copper walls are framed by built-in shelves dressed with antique books, crystal decanters and eclectic cat figurines surveying you from their perches.

click to enlarge The Mezemerize Me platter. - AMY KUMLER
  • Amy Kumler
  • The Mezemerize Me platter.

Jennifer Metz, who co-owns the inn and bar with her sister, Rebecca Rex, and their spouses Tim and Tammy, explains that her cat was the original Phatsy Kline. She points to a portrait just above the back-bar of the fluffy feline yawning, undisturbed by the quickly growing crowd. The late Phatsy also manifests in painted pawprints traipsing down the length of the bar.

Our bartender Jess Monique delivers us each a Lavender Pisco Sour, which is a botanical play on a classic cocktail delivering a soft touch of lavender balanced by acidity from fresh-squeezed citrus and Pisco, a Peruvian brandy that rounds the finish. The garnish of a floating pansy, sprig of French lavender and lemon twist make this drink particularly Instagramable.

The menu mirrors the same authenticity and attention to detail as the design, including an impressive list of local beer, wine and cider, and cocktails made from ingredients squeezed, muddled, infused and picked in-house. Specialty cocktails include offerings such as the Cherry Poppins, made with Sipsmith gin, vanilla liqueur, vermouth, cherry jam, lemon and rose water, and a take on a classic French 75 called the Fench 007, with Hendrick's gin, sparkling rosé, St. Germain and lemon, as well as one of the best Old Fashioneds — dotted with little gold stars and garnished with a scorched orange peel — that I've had.

click to enlarge The Fromage platter of cheeses with fig tapenade and spiced nuts. - AMY KUMLER
  • Amy Kumler
  • The Fromage platter of cheeses with fig tapenade and spiced nuts.

There's a menu of non-alcoholic mixed drinks and a large selection of snack boards featuring local and carefully curated items like the cheese platter, the house-made hummus, dolmas and local Henry's Olives on the Mezemerize Me platter, or the house pickled vegetable platter. The Fisherman's Daughter features smoked salmon and local wild albcore, along with goat cheese and mustard-dill Larrupin sauce, and if you stop in on a Wednesday, there'll be fresh Humboldt Bay oysters on offer. There are dessets, too, a flourless dark chocolate torte among them.

The couple sitting next to me said this is their first visit to Phatsy's and proclaimed it as their new favorite site for date night. They argued playfully about who ordered the "girlier" drink and raved about their charcuterie board, which comes with local Brio bread.

My new friends went back to their date, customers continued to pour in through the front door and Jess continued to gracefully mix drinks like potions with vials and containers of the house-made shrubs, simple syrups and bitters, while the Justin Time band set up for a set. This historic building, which has survived so many eras, is settling into its newest life, with easy rapport and an interesting menu — the coolest hotel bar I have ever been to.

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Erin Young

Erin Young

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