Behold: Return of the Fern Bar

Behold: Return of the Fern Bar

I don’t know what it’s like in your town, but here in mine, The Restaurant People and The Real Estate People are quickly running of The Past for things to mine for their filthy, shallow lucre. Thus far, the engine has eaten through most old-timey cuisines without ever actually ruining them forever, but also leaving an array of typefaces and pieces of music that we simply can’t fuck with anymore. For all of this, though, the reboot of The Fern Bar has been heralded from here to Tacoma, but to date, the shaggy beast of the 70s has yet to be caught.

Fern Bars were hatched in earnest as the ‘60s slid into the ‘70s, where a funnily fussy aesthetic -- fake Tiffany lamps, meet lots and lots of fern! -- met an even more funny/fussy array of drinks like Harvey Wallbangers and pina coladas. And of course they got caught in the rain, because in the midst of their moment, Fern Bars were also tied up in gayness and feminism alike -- their very appearances, after all, were expressions of camp, and Fern Bars were the first widely known “singles bars,” as such being the first type of bar ever where single women were expressly welcomed by design.

Coming out of gastropub exhaustion, coming out of the Elon Musk-like essential failure of molecular gastronomy, The Fern Bar revival would seem timely. But whether it was just a truly unrepeatable moment or even just that TGI Friday’s permanently destroyed the aesthetic,  it’s not really happening. This is perhaps as it should be, because if anything, you should be trying to turn your home into a Fern Bar, not letting some guy in his 40s with new sneakers and a $200 hoodie sell you one in the spot where there was previously something called Ampersand & Ampersand.

What I mean is this: Ferns -- you need them. This music -- you need it. The odd bit of your cluttered past -- stop fronting like it’s not what you wanna see when you get home. After a long day of Hootsuite, don’t you want a bit of Mr. Goodbar? Some incense, a spritzer or a spliffzer, and some England Dan & John Ford Coley? There, there, worry not: The Fern Bar remembers.

  • Post author
    Joey Sweeney