Team Behind Wine Dive Brings a Subterranean Speakeasy to South Street
With a sexy ’70s vibe, Rabbit takes elevated cocktail service underground.
Update 4/26/22: Some sad news from Hawthornes Restaurant Group: Due to that aforementioned fire, Sonny’s Cocktail Joint, Wine Dive and Rabbit are temporarily closed. Co-owner Chris Fetfatzes said, “We do not have a timeline on when we shall reopen, but it is our hope to be back pouring red, white and our signature cocktails by the end of summer or early fall. We want to thank everyone for the amazing welcome for all three new concepts and we are so very grateful to everyone. We will return stronger than ever.” We’ll keep you posted on reopening news as soon as we hear more.
“I always enjoy the rush of a basement cocktail bar,” says Chris Fetfatzes. “People want to dress up and feel sexy.”
Since the beginning of 2020, Fetfatzes and his wife Heather Annechiarico have been transforming their little corner of 15th and South streets, former home of the Cambridge. Joining Wine Dive (their wine bar and bottle shop) and Sonny’s Cocktail Joint (the adjoining laidback bar that unfortunately closed a few weeks ago due to a building fire), Rabbit — an intimate, dimly-lit cocktail lounge — is the last piece of the puzzle for Hawthorne Restaurant Group. All three bars are tied together with nostalgia and expertise, but their identities are distinct.
“Sonny’s is fast and loose, Rabbit is slow and proper,” Fetfatzes explains. Unlike its upstairs counterparts, Rabbit will not take orders at the bar. Guests are led downstairs through an amber-tinged hallway of eclectic art, and shown to their seats, where one-on-one service is the focus. Cocktails are explained, and your order is taken. It’s an old-school level of hospitality that Fetfatzes felt was missing from the bar scene.
Another contrast between the two spots: unlike Sonny’s Cocktail Joint, Rabbit will not serve food — or beer, for that matter. For wine and beer, head upstairs and next door, but you can’t take those upstairs purchases down the rabbit hole.
The menu down here is tight and entirely focused on creative and high-end cocktails. The Dirty Carrot is earthy and strong, infused with carrot tops and spice. Meanwhile, the Missing Persons (cleverly served in a glass milk carton) sweetly evokes coquito with its mix of coconut-washed scotch, pan d’orgeat, oloroso and oat milk.
As for the vibes, the inspiration was simultaneously Studio 54, Morocco, and the ‘70s. That mix translates into a lounge with mismatched luxe furniture, beaded curtains and chandelier accents, a trippy playlist (meticulously programmed by Fetfatzes, a self-described control freak) and surprises like a coffee table-dwelling snake whose downstairs neighbor is a crocodile.
Rabbit is located at 1508 South Street. The bar plans to open Friday, April 29th at 6 p.m., and will be open on Thursdays through Saturdays — plus Mondays for the industry set — from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.