Welcome to The Slipper Clutch — a rock-n-roll bar in downtown LA that transports all ye who enter under its neon Highballs sign, to Mean Streets-era New York City — a time when life was slower, the city grittier and for its interior designer Janel Wright, 7&7s reigned supreme.
“I hate 7&7s,” explains Janel. “But when I visit The Slipper Clutch, that’s all I drink. And let me tell you: clear alcohol and I do not mix. I had a really bad experience on my 21st birthday that included Everclear and Dr. Pepper and that’s all I’m going to say about that…”
While full disclosure about her youthful indiscretions was not forthcoming, Janel willingly reflected on why 7&7s—a wildly popular drink in America in the late 1970s—are her go-to when visiting the Slipper Clutch.
“The bar is the anthesis of what one imagines an LA bar would look like,” she says. “It was designed to be a neighborhood spot, a place to hang out without pretense. The first conversation I always have with when I’m working with a client is, ‘How do you want your space to feel?’ The bar’s owners, Eric Alperin and Richie Boccato said, ‘We want it to be analog.’”
In today’s digital overload universe, just hearing the word “analog” feels like a balm made of equal parts Pacman, pull cigarette machine and light-up, stained-glass windows. It’s that feeling you get when you can’t get wi-fi: first, you’re pissed off. NO INTERNET! Then you’re like, “Oh I know!” and you try to hack it. When that doesn’t work, there’s nothing left do except put your phone away, turn to the person next to you, and engage in conversation = analog to the core.
In truth, there’s a reason we’re buying vinyl, shopping in vintage stores and “ironically” making Frito Pie for dinner parties — we’re scared of losing touch. Literally. Have you ever gone a full day when the only “people” you talked to were Alexa and Siri? Me too!
“I think we’re collectively seeking soul,” says Janel. “People and places that make us slow down and enjoy life at a slower pace; spaces that celebrate the kind of decay that comes from being well loved.”
And isn’t that what we all want? To be well loved?
So in honor of putting down our various screens that do various things that need to get done or the world will explode, here’s a pairing guaranteed to connect you IRL.
What you need:
1.5-2 oz. Seagram’s Seven* (depending on how strong you like it)
How to prepare:
Pour Seagram’s in a tall glass with ice
Fill the rest with 7-Up
Add the lemon twist
*Can substitute Crown Royal
**Can substitute Sprite
***Using a vegetable peeler, remove a wide strip of zest with as little of the pith as possible.
As far as the “recipe” for finding an analog bar in your town or when you’re traveling goes, I suggest asking locals, googling “dive bars near me” or asking someone who looks like they’ve, you know, been around the block…
What’s your favorite local haunt? A place that feels like “home,” where the bartender remembers your name and if not your name, your favorite drink? Send us the address and we’ll be sure to visit next time we’re in town!