From the laser-wielding sharks glow-painted on the wall and the abundant bead curtains to the giant lava lamps and the fur-laden pillars transcending floors, Electric Pussycat is hilariously, beautifully terrible. I mean this as a compliment, like when someone says your new grandpa sweater from Goodwill is ugly. As with any self-respecting themed bar or restaurant (especially an Austin Powers themed one), gimmick was the intention, and here it was executed masterfully. You will not hear a single groan from patrons, only delighted oh-my-god-are-are-they-for-reals. My notebook still has glitter stuck inside of it from my visit to their grand opening on April 13, and I’m not mad about it.
There are about 1,001 things I can say about the decor, but, to sum it up, this is a place for everyone. Never seen Austin Powers? No matter; who doesn’t love ’70s bangers and highly Instagrammable neon-glowing bubble chairs? Love Austin Powers? Good, because there’s a very realistic and very friendly impersonator there one night a week to make things extra groovy baybay! Hate Austin Powers? You sound like no fun and probably aren’t on the prowl for a hot new nightclub anyway, so why are you reading this?
And yes, I did say ’70s bangers. This is the only real hint that you were not completely sucked into the actual Austin Powers universe. But, come on, early ’60s music just isn’t as danceable — can you really blame them? The deejay slings tunes from the cab of a Volkswagen overlooking the first floor while smart projectors read the beats to create accompanying graphics on the fur-and-mirror-adorned wall behind the raised, swirling pseudo-dancefloor/catwalk. It’s all very funkalicious and, as much as I will overuse this word, undeniably groovy.
As fun as it would be just to stop in and ogle at the interior, the drink menu gives just as much reason to step into this alternate dimension. Oh, and it’s not just because of the amicable and lavishly dressed bartenders (gold shirts with ruffles and vests, sheer and feather-adorned lingerie, etc.) — the drinks are completely over-the-top without being disgustingly sweet or manhandled. The Cryogenic Freeze contains a cube of dry ice that sputters and smokes from the bright blue elixir. You can Fook Yourself with a refreshing cucumber- and vodka-based drink served in a hulking martini glass. It contains just a bit of sake to round out the flavors and bring in some dryness. And, of course, who couldn’t go for A Lot A’ Fagina? Depending on the jalapeno the bartender happens to pluck from their stash to muddle into this drink, you could be chugging water earlier in the night than expected.
Behind the bar, cooks are working on the creme de la creme of drunk comfort food: grilled cheese and milkshakes. The food really has no business being this good. What right does it have? This place has plenty of draw; people would have come without the promise of delicious drunchies. There’s even a vegan option to satisfy the conscious club-goer. But, I suppose, what’s an Austin Powers hangout without an over-the-top menu?
Have you ever felt like your body is in a nightclub but your soul is at home wrapped up in blankets? This is the feeling the Double Agent evokes: a grilled cheese with white and yellow cheddar, smoked bacon, tomato soup reduction and garlic honey butter all nestled between two perfectly toasty but supple pieces of Texas toast. Now, I do not say this lightly. What you are about to hear is the real deal: This may just be the best grilled cheese I have ever had. True, my judgment was lubricated by a couple drinks, so I guess I’ll have to go back and get another to be sure. Oh no. What difficult research to conduct, but someone’s gotta do it. Considering how jam-packed with flavor and ooey gooey goodness this treat was, it was impressive that not a morsel greased up my outfit — even more reason to wear your wildest ’60s or otherwise themed garb. I recommend eating this alongside a Man of Mystery, a grapefruit cocktail with the smokiest mezcal I’ve yet to encounter; it really adds to the bacon experience.
Still want sustenance but looking for dessert? Ease your way into the milkshake menu with the Foxy Lady grilled cheese. Thinly sliced tart and crispy green apple enveloped in layers of decadent melted brie and fontina with a drizzling of salted caramel give the illusion of carnival food, especially wrapped up in that crispy Texas toast casing. I had previously thought Sriracha and salted caramel were becoming kin, just buzzwords to spice up a menu without really adding anything to a given dish. This is not one of those dishes. The salted caramel drizzle was necessary, thoughtful and generally incredible.
Moving on to full-fledged dessert, there are, of course, completely ridiculous milkshakes to be had. The Psychedellic Strawberry Pop-tart, as you may have guessed, is a strawberry shake (containing strawberry vodka) heaping over a glass reinforced with Pop-Tart chunks liberally rimming the glass, held in place by buttercream with integrity to rival that of gingerbread house mortar. As if that weren’t enough, Fruity Pebbles litter the whipped cream topping and the milkshake itself. Getting a little sugary, fruity crunch every few sips was an aspect of strawberry milkshakes I never knew I needed until now. Usually, If I go out for milkshakes with friends, I say I want to split one so as not to appear a pig when, deep down, I want the whole damn thing. In the case of Electric Pussycat milkshakes, wanting to split is no lie. These are serious, folks. Split them. Maybe three or four ways. Especially if you plan on dancing the night away afterward.
Bring someone to Electric Pussycat who’s up for an adventure, or try to meet someone new here. The seating area gives the illusion of a groovy, mid-century sunken living room, so with that comes an illusion of intimacy despite the loud and funky jams permeating the speakers in the fur ceiling. There’s plenty here to look at and talk about, and the bar is well equipped to deal with rejection. You can start your night here to get the ball rolling or end it here to finish on a groovy high note. Either way, Electric Pussycat is an intensely fun and entertaining place to be.