As much of a treat for the taste buds as it is the imagination, the newly opened UnderTow Gilbert invites imbibers on a 90-minute voyage of the high seas–with a cocktail in hand instead of an oar. The Epicenter at Agritopia locale marks Barter & Shake Cocktail Entertainment’s first expansion of its prized Arcadia-based cocktail bar.
This exciting new opening in Gilbert is courtesy of Barter & Shake Cocktail Entertainment, which is also the group behind the award-winning Century Grand in Phoenix. Barter & Shake’s flagship UnderTow in Arcadia is no stranger to accolades. Since it first opened in August 2016, it has received nods from Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards, Arizona Restaurant Association’s Foodist Awards and numerous local publications. And UnderTow Gilbert has now set sail on a similar path to success.
The journey that is UnderTow Gilbert starts before you see even the cocktail menu. The setting of the cocktail bar is belly of a spice trader’s turn-of-the-century Clipper ship, and everywhere you look, there is something unique to behold. The transportive décor features a hand-carved bar top, illustrations by the famed Tom “Thor” Thordarson, immersive sound and lighting effects, a figurehead salvaged from the bow of a ship and much more. One of the coolest elements is the wall of portholes where guests can “look out” on the rough waters in the distance. Even with all the fun bells and whistles, the atmosphere is quite intimate and relaxed; guests have plenty of face time with the mixologists and the space never feels crowded.
Though it is worth a visit to play pirate for a bit, it is UnderTow Gilbert’s highly innovative cocktail menu that will keep you from wanting to return ashore. The lineup features around 40 cocktail offerings, many of which pay homage to Polynesian culture, ranging from elevated classics and over-the-top Tiki drinks to rare rums and even a few zero-proof concoctions. Each drink is a work of art–delicious art–and exemplifies the amount of thought that has gone into every single aspect of UnderTow Gilbert.
Each reservation is a 90-minute experience; with about 30 minutes left in your reservation, expect a host to check on you and note your remaining time. Open 4 to 11 p.m., Monday to Thursday; 2 p.m. to midnight, Friday and Saturday; and 2 to 10 p.m., Sunday. For more information on UnderTow Gilbert, visit drinkundertow.com.