It was a long Sunday hunting down food for the youngsters and rounding up laundry.
So I ventured down to the Victorian hunting lodge at the Storm Crow Manor to kick up my boots and enjoy the ambience.
There were hunting trophies on the wall. The head of a rancor from Star Wars faced the bar where a young woman chatted with some bearded chaps about computer science. Eventually, they would play a game of Dice with Destiny, which is a form of amusement where they choose their poison at the whims of a 20-sided die.
It’s a typical scene at this establishment at Church and Wellesley streets introduced to me by the gatekeeper, or assistant general manager, Jay Kaw — whose name is perfect for a place named for the corvid species of bird.
Storm Crow Manor, its title taken from the surname of Gandalf the Grey, now resides where Fuzion, The Vic and Maison House once stood.
Tucked inside a mansard roof, with dormer windows, the homages to Philip K. Dick, William Gibson, Stanley Kubrick, Stan Lee, H.P. Lovecraft, George Lucas, David Lynch, Jules Verne and Mary Shelley Wollstonecraft play out at this nerdvana.
Kaw tells me they want to start Magic: The Gathering Mondays and DM and Dine, which allow newcomers to Dungeons and Dragons to pick up their swords — or bows if they deem themselves worthy of ranger status — and play with a dungeon master.
“It’s been amazing. Having opened, we’ve realized there was a need, a huge need, for a nerd bar,” Kaw told me of its Oct. 22 opening.
It had taken them 14 months for them to restore the building, right down to its foundation, a murky basement fit for a Vincent Price dungeon.
“Our owner is one of the biggest geeks I’ve met – that’s in a good way,” Kaw said. “Super passionate. Super fantastic. Huge fan of Lovecraft, hence the tentacles and the Cthulhu upstairs.”
The fireplace is adorned with the cephalopod suckers. As are the rococo-inspired bar ornaments.
Before I feasted on some of the menu’s offerings, I was taken on a tour of the Nautilus Room, the apothecary, complete with Alistair Crowley bust and the operating room, featuring a surgical lighthead, as well as the Gibsonesque dining area (heaven forbid they ever need a plumber with all those pipes).
But the crowning achievement, which is used on Fridays and Saturdays for overflow, is the complete replica of the Overlook Hotel’s bar from The Shining. Free of the wraith-like Lloyd and his Jack Daniels, the bar is alight in the corner of a Twin Peaks-inspired Red Room.
Oh, and the catacombs, which really make you want to hold your bodily fluids lest you be taken under by the undead. (There is a sign on one door that gives a nod to the Walking Dead.)
Finally, after a tour of the architectural wonder, I seat myself before the fire, kick back and choose my aperitif.
Brought before me was a brilliant glowing concoction. The deepest of scarlet, with a deep piercing eye, much like the Ancient Ones.
But this was no Lovecraftian delight. No, it was of the comics realm, in which Marvel villain Mysterio attempts to fool Spider-Man. Much like its namesake, the Mezterio is the flashy Hollywood star of the bar menu. I imbibed the elixir composed of Creyente Mezcal tequila, Campari, sweet vermouth and Applewood.
It had a smoky finish and made me crave a Cohiba, à la J. Jonah Jameson — perfect for my journalist’s spirit — and not to forget Spidey.
After a Dracarys dragon egg (read scotched) and a steak sandwich fit for Van Helsing, I bid Aaron, the good man who brought the food, adieu and made my exit.
In the words of that famous T-800 Model 101 Terminator, “I’ll be back.”
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