Lowest Greenville has given us a handful of unique bars in the last couple of years — a kitschy (in all the best ways) Asian spot, a faux saloon, somewhere to sidle up to a bar for whiskey — but we now have a '70s recording studio serving gimmicky cocktails.
Wah Wah Room, whose name is bizarre enough to intrigue us, is our newest Lowest Greenville bar/lounge with too many textures and mod colors to count. Think mustard yellows and dark browns mixed with at least four shades of wood grain and oddly matched ornate rugs, Moroccan tables and brass accents. Most strange, though, is the random neon sign in the bathroom hallway that reads, "Living my best life," which interjects just the slightest millennial snag into the mix. If you can get past the strange amalgamation of '70s décor, take a moment to appreciate the corner "recording booth," complete with analog DJ equipment that's used nightly (they have a DJ in-house at 9 p.m.) and a fully functioning eight-track player that's never touched.
The bar feels convivial, and since the seating is considered "communal," go ahead and take the chance to meet your neighbors. After all, they told us that the patrons bring the fun to the space. Bartender Brandon Purkart said of the communal feel, “I love to see guys with neckties next to guys with neck tattoos having a great conversation."
The space offers food and drink, with the food coming from its sister restaurant next door, Laurel Tavern. The cocktails are creative, in theory, but only slightly so in execution. Look for a little bit of nostalgia thanks to a couple of garnishes, but overall, no flavors that reflect the theme. Really, we were just hoping for a Tang cocktail. And we'll just say it, where was the modernized Harvey Wallbanger?!
While we weren't overwhelmed by nostalgic flavors, they do make some great tipples. We tried a few options, and all were made well and the flavors balanced nicely. The Liquid Kitty ($12) is a sweet cocktail served in a martini glass with a candy cigarette pinned to the rim, which is just about the most intricately conceived garnish we saw. The Good Vibrations ($12) is a slightly tiki cocktail served in a sort-of tiki mug with a sad attempt at a tiki straw. If you're more into stirred cocktails, Rosemary's Last Stand ($12) is a slightly sweet option, and the Wah Wah Old Fashioned ($12) was a nice riff on the traditional OF thanks to the addition of Averna and a touch of Benedictine.
Their menus, which weren't hard to find since they were littering the space en masse, offer eight cocktails, a handful of wines and beers, intriguing shots ($6) and three boilermakers ($10). If you order a boilermaker, make sure to let them know how you prefer them when you order or it'll drop in front of you premixed.
The overall feel of Wah Wah Room is relaxed, just like you'd feel in your parents' basement listening to Queen or Led Zeppelin after smoking a little weed, but the on-point décor made us want a little more from the liquid offerings' creativity from a themed perspective. It's a must-visit if you're a fan of retro kitsch, and make sure you stop into the restrooms, which are primed for a bathroom selfie thanks to the collaged walls.
Wah Wah Room, 1922 Greenville Ave. (Lowest Greenville), wahwahroom.com
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