The cavernous underground bar most recently known as Root has reopened two nights a week as a music venue with an Alice in Wonderland–inspired concept. Rabbit Hole at Root is now down with DJs and an earthy mix of amaros, absinthe, and mushroom- and herb-infused craft cocktails.
Roger Ahn, one of three sibling co-owners of the historic S. First St. structure that includes their Circ Bar upstairs, says the rebranding from a sit-down speakeasy to a more danceable vibe stemmed from their experience with that unique basement, with brick tunnels connecting spaces of various sizes. The table service and drink mixology combined for “too many touch points” which “really capped us in how many guests we can accommodate on a given night,” he says.
The new concept eases the workload with tableside QR code ordering and more bar prep work to speed service. The restaffing, following a closure of over two months, most notably includes beverage manager Alistair Dickinson, previously with the Ravens Club. “We’re really fortunate to have him come on board and head up our program,” Ahn says.
Fridays feature the vintage video DJing of Todd Osborn, a fixture in the area music scene for decades. Dan Bain and other electronica DJs create rhythmic soundscapes on Saturdays “to allow for people to have Detroit-style, Detroit-quality DJs without having to drive all the way to Detroit,” as Ahn puts it. Entry is for ages twenty-one and older, and a $5 cover charge kicks in at 10 p.m.
Rabbit Hole at Root, 210 S. First St. (734) 780–0778. Fri. & Sat. 8 p.m.–2 a.m. Closed Sun.–Thurs. rootannarbor.com