Address: 3009 Central Ave. NE
So okay, long time no dive, and then Dave and I go here. Yes, we know Zinc is not even a dive candidate, it’s fine dining for loves’ sake. But beneath Zinc is another bar, the Zinc Cellar Bar. It’s accessed by a narrow, dark stairwell so of course we cannot in good conscience stay out of there.
Zinc and its Cellar open at 5pm, which is a shame for those of us attracted to the type of mid-day darkness only a windowless bar can offer. The place has a great feel, so cool and dark it definitely feels underground. And it’s a little tricky to find the door, which is a common dive parameter although not specifically on our list (the door to the Cellar is in the small foyer between the outer door and inner, so if you go all the way into the Wine Bar and Bistro part you won’t find it).
But there the dive semblance stops. We did not even attempt to drink beer here. We ordered some tasty, fancy taquito things from upstairs, and since it was Martini Monday we went right for the martinis. They were pricey even with the Monday special, but good sized and served in an actual martini glass, you know one of those upside-down cone shaped things. And the glass was frosted. Just don’t forget, a martini is not really a mixed drink, there’s no non-alcoholic mix. It’s alcohol mixed with alcohol with an olive thrown in.. One of the Zinc martinis impacts like two PBRs and you may wind up having to hang out longer than you meant to. Which, as pleasant as it is down there, is not bad thing.
The Chart: (what the hell, let’s see how it stacks up)
|Cheap drinks||Maybe not a bad value for the $, but nothing in here qualifies as a “cheap drink”|
|Floor irregularities||Nope, good floor|
|Dark||It is fabulously dark down in the Cellar|
|Bathroom deficiencies||Nice bathrooms|
|Forbidden Fru Fru Drinks||The normal drinks here are on the Fru Fru side|
|Regulars||Patrons way to polite to be regulars|
|Quiet||Plenty of quiet|
|Questionable décor||Frighteningly tasteful ambiance|
Score? The Zinc Cellar gets a TWO (if we tried to apply the dive scale to Zinc upstairs it would have gotten a zero). The Cellar looks and feels a little divey, but is almost completely a non-dive. It’s a FAUX DIVE! (Frankly we love those, too.)