Good drinks and a laid-back vibe are hallmarks of this bar anyone would gladly live below
Take the stairs. God knows with all that collective drinking we’re doing, a little bit of exercise wouldn’t kill us. In fact, it might even do us good, particularly if there’s a destination like Defectors at the finishing line.
While some still refer to this olde-worlde den of couches and armchairs as “upstairs at the Scotsman”, Casa Defectors is a world away from the shared jugs and boho-charm of its underfoot sibling. Although popular bar manager James Connolly has upped stumps, the Englishman’s legacies of irreverence – according to the menu, his Golden Promise tastes “like an angel has p-ssed on your tongue” – and good drinking remain.
Take, for instance, the likes of the Kentucky Treacle Pie, a highly gluggable concoction of Rittenhouse rye, maple syrup and apple juice. Then there’s the floral Sooky La La, essentially a gimlet with St Germain standing in for the lime cordial. Or maybe you want something neat and undiluted? All the levels of the booze pyramid are represented here, although rum – all 30-something bottles of it – is unquestionably the spirit of choice.
The outside balcony offers impressive views of city and the surrounding neighbourhood while a snack menu big on drinking food (did someone say pizza?) adds to the convivial vibe. You may have heard about the venue's bit of drama in October 2013, when the floor partially caved in – don't worry, nobody was hurt, and the problem has been fully rectified. Oh, and about that staircase: don’t fret – it’s only a 20-step climb.