Fellow food writer Mark Kurlyandchik of the Freep poses
that the name could have to do with a series of misfortunes that fell upon the proprietors of the bar - Detroit Optimist Society (Wright & Company, Sugar House, The Peterboro, SuperHappySushi) - in the building of the space.
First, its supposed curse comes from the "17 months it's taken to open the exclusive cocktail bar," and second, from "the 13 stitches to sew up (founder Dave Kwiatowski's) shin after a nasty fall off a ladder while working on the interior."
Creepy omens aside, the "bad luck" could also have to do with the prices on the drink menu (as in more than a few Detroiters may well be out of luck if they want to grab a cheap drink here, perhaps?).
The daily reports that drinks at the new spot, situated in an alley in the back of the Albert, start at $18 for cocktails such as the "Death," which mixes Appleton Estate Jamaican Rum, so-infused Pedro Ximenez sherry, spiced butter and lime juice (we admit, that sounds damn good), up to a whopping $80 (!) for the so-called Admiral, featuring rum from the UK's last rationing to the British Royal Navy in 1970 (served neat or in daiquiri form).
A quick survey among friends today about this newest addition in downtown drinking shows plenty of folks put off by the steep price tag.
Thing is, Bad Luck is not out of line with some of the other Detroit Optimist Society concepts. Sugar House similarly charges a premium for its cocktails, but part of its draw for fans is in presentation. Hand-carved ice cubes, juices and mixers made in-house, and mixologists showing off their guns as they shake, shake, shake their concoctions, are all part of the experience.
We envision Bad Luck fitting in well with the well-heeled crowd that Wright & Company brings in around the corner. While customers wait the 90 or so minutes for a table at the second-story small plates spot, they can gather at the nearby bar for a round.
Not exactly the type of place you'll want to run up a big tab, more like a part of a once-in-awhile special occasion, see-and-be-seen type of night out.
Then again, if cheap drinks and a more laid back vibe are your thing, there are plenty of places around town for that. Click here for a roundup of the city's oldest bars.
Capitol Park is going to welcome its latest in food and drink Thursday, with the opening of the Bad Luck cocktail bar in the back of the Albert building.