In a city chasing the next best skyline views and thumping rooftop bars, bar proprietor N.D. Austin opened Threesome Tollbooth, a bar the size of a tollbooth that sits exactly three people — the bartender and two guests, making for perhaps the most intimate night on the town in New York.
The concept for Threesome Tollbooth was born while Austin was location scouting for a new speakeasy in Edificio Copan, in Sao Paolo, Brazil. “It’s one of architect Oscar Niemeyer’s most famous buildings, with a sinuous curve that is beautiful to behold (from the outside) but that results in a lot of oddly shaped spaces (on the inside). I stumbled into a triangular closet that looked like it would perfectly fit three people. Not what I was looking for at the time, but the shape stuck with me…” Austin said.
He brought the inspiration back to East Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where Threesome Tollbooth offers a tasting menu of cocktails in a tucked away corner of this vibrant neighborhood. (The exact location remains a mystery and is only disclosed the morning of one’s booked reservation). The personalization given to each night at this petite lounge is a huge part of the draw with craft cocktails and close conversation at the core of the experience. There are no large back rooms for birthday parties or side doors that empty out into a more robust operation — it’s two at a time, and preferably, as their website states “someone with whom you are very comfortable.”
As comforting as the close quarters can be, a certain willingness to eschew old favorites and tried-and-true cocktail classics is necessary. “Follow our lead”, Austin said. “We love discovery and are delighted to share our current experiments.”
Reservations are required and tickets are released a month in advance, priced a $110 per person with all service included. No walk-ins, and no dress code.
By Hope Corrigan