Hunters follow their hounds in an open field. The fallen game is not completely visible, but the hounds are eager. Enter jazz flute and electric guitar. Normally I would not lend myself to the whims of a Tuesday evening. However, feeling particularly peppy, I decided to venture to Seven Grand, a venue cleverly named after its 7th and Grand location. The light brown wallpaper has a retro feel but rounds out the lounge, which emulates an old upscale hunter’s lodge.
Coming into the venue, I had no true expectations. I did know the venue boasted over 200 something whiskeys, bourbons and scotches. I did know that a jazz band would be on hand, as is the case every Monday through Wednesday. But, I did not know that I would feel so at home.
My company and I ascend a few dark flights of stairs. The aroma of whiskey hits my nostrils as hard as a shot with no chaser. Amazing. George, the welcoming barkeep hands me a drink menu that seems endless. He’s polite, but lets you know you’re family through a subtle joke.
Completely overwhelmed by mixes and the myriad of aged liqueurs, I go with a nice Belgian blonde. That’s the blonde on tap, not the blonde at the end of the bar waiting for someone to hit her with a clever pickup line.
The patronage is composed of veterans and novices. But that is no matter. Everyone seems satisfied.
A middle-aged gentleman craving a “decent” cigar is escorted to the cigar room. Shortly thereafter, he steps out onto the balcony. He reenters with a beaming smile on his face. That good, huh?
A younger woman dressed in tight jeans, a baggy black V-neck and a bold beret dances and sways as she seeks assistance in finding the washroom. She grunts and dashes through a door with a large window and stenciled lettering. It reminds me of the set of an old black and white detective feature. She returns to the bar and immediately orders two whiskey sours. I guess the emergency has passed. She laughs and plunges back into the crowd surrounding the bar, already enjoying each other’s company.
A young blogger sits at the bar and finishes off his second draft. He chuckles at the lounge’s decor and lets out a long sigh. He imagines enjoying himself after a hard day at work, before a late game at the Staples Center, celebrating a birthday with friends or just to taking down a few rounds of Tullamore Dew. Actually, he imagines taking down a few rounds of Tullamore Dew several times over.
The Makers, a young band composed of about five, twenty-somethings sports a new-age jazz. The combination of trumpet, trombone, drums, electric guitar and bass is soothing and somehow nestles its way into the ambiance. The instrumental compliments the already easy-going atmosphere.
I hear a few cheers come from the pool tables and a few gasps come from the corner of the bar where the band is set. A young man feverishly sketches the guitarist’s face. The sketch is damn good, detailed and accurate. I share his sentiments of creative expression. The evening is too perfect to let pass.
Seven Grand, you have gained a new admirer. And aside from the gentleman who attempts to pick up my girlfriend – after I excuse myself to the men’s room, and despite the fact that “NO CREEPS ALLOWED” is clearly written below the daily drink specials – Seven Grand does not disappoint.