There are two things about Alaska that stand out especially upon the first visit:
One of which is how non-descript the outside is. There is a folding sign placed out on the street, a recessed entrance, and two chairs on either side of an ashcan with a stag on it.
The second thing you’ll notice is how that stag has found his way onto the wall in the form of gold and red wallpaper. According to the owners, the idea behind Alaska’s decor was to give it a frontier feel. It was shortly before they opened that they settled on the name. This ideal is helped along by the mounted deer head above the bar. Hopefully, they said, he’ll have company shortly.
Lisa traveled to several flea markets in the tristate area to find the oil paintings of farm houses and rustic scenes that decorate the wall above a row of booths. When you’re seated there, be sure to look down as well, they made the tables themselves.
It’s a spacious bar, dimly lit and has many little design details to pay attention to. Also, being that it’s around the corner from 56 Bogart you may soon catch a few art heads in there having a drink and a chat.
Over a selection of bourbons, beers, house drinks [try the Alaska if you're in the mood for gin], and Bourbon Milkshakes, we sat down with the proprietors, Skyler and Lisa, to find out about their new space and how it came about.
Skyler: This used to be a biker bar, a clubhouse might be a better way to put it. When we first walked into the space there was a mezzanine. I don’t know what it was before that.
Lisa and I met in the McKibbin lofts at a music show about four years ago. The idea for this began really taking shape about a year ago.
Lisa: We really wanted to set up a venue space. Even a DIY venue, because we have a lot of friends in the local music scene, especially the Potion Collective. Slowly we came around to the idea of having a bar instead. One of the first questions Skyler asked was “What bourbon will we serve?”
Skyler: Bourbon is my favorite drink. We have a really good selection right now, but we want to add more.
We also want to add more taxidermied animals. We have the deer above the bar and an animal that’s sparked some debate, though I think it’s a wolverine.
Lisa: Yeah, the animals have become a new hobby for us. I think we’re most proud of the bar though, Skyler had a lot to do with finding that. It’s made from two pieces of reclaimed wood and was extremely heavy. Skyler found it, brought it in and created the bar from it. It’s really one of the best pieces of the whole room.
Of course, we at Bushwick Daily have to mention the wraparound couch as well. An antique that has never been used until it was brought here.
Alaska is located at 35 Ingraham Street between Bogart and Moore. They are open until 4AM on quite a few nights of the week and are currently cash only.