Formerly the Mink, the Alley Kat Reinvents Itself as a Suaver Sort of Lounge
|Managing partner Kory Hinton (left, with bartender Erica Mota) hopes The Alley Kat's stay on "The Island" is a long one.|
Open since early January, the venue doesn't have any firm plans for a grand opening yet. Hinton says they want to finish refurbishing the back building's bar and upstairs area, which she says will eventually play host to live music again.
"We want to respect the artists and make them feel like they're appreciated," Hinton says, adding that an upgraded sound system and lighting are in the works, though their completion will take time. Hinton hopes to have a rotating schedule of genres on weekends, "something like salsa Fridays and blues Saturdays," she says.
The Alley Kat is still working out kinks and such, while attracting business via word of mouth. The bar was still pretty quiet at 9 p.m. one recent evening when my friends and I arrived, but it was comfortably packed inside only 30 minutes later. It stayed that way past midnight, when we left.
"We don't want to identify ourselves as a club," Hinton says. "A club is a two-year business model, and we intend to be here ten years from now. We want to become a staple of the neighborhood, like the Continental Club and the Breakfast Klub."
With everything Hinton says is in the works, The Alley Kat's future looks bright, both for newcomers and former Mink enthusiasts. It still feels unpretentious; it's just received a bit of polish.
The bar's four-dollar premium beers won't break your bank, but the cocktails are about twice that (and well worth it). Ask for a Marseilles Fruit Fizz or just about anything with egg whites, and get some protein with your buzz.
You'd best behave while you're on site, though, because Hinton isn't afraid to escort you out with a smile.