The Richardson

451 Graham Ave.

You’ve been saying it your whole life: Rockabilly is dead.

Your friends, your family, your peers: they all weren’t picking up what you were putting down. And the reason might have just been they just got back from the Richardson.

Now the Richardson is not a Brian Setzer museum, far from it. It’s one of the best speakeasy bars in the whole city, it just happens to be staffed by pompadors and rolled-up t-shirts revealing iconic tattoos. It was here I fell in love with the Old-Fashioned (this was pre-Mad Men, much the way I claimed Cosmos pre-SATC), made here with a dollop of coarse brown sugar, Buffalo Trace, Angostura bitters, and a massive ice block that ensures every sip is chilled perfection (no fruit, for a manly, unencumbered experience). Follow this up with a Scottish Dew, combining muddled cucumber and scotch for a refreshing flavor partnership, ideal for sipping on the patio, keeping an eye out for the Sharks who might come around and stir up trouble.

The Richardson is located just far enough away from the Bedford epicenter that it’s rarely so packed you cannot get a table quickly, and even rarer that the Stray Cats behind the bar will let you linger drinkless for more than a few minutes. The elegant lighting layers the bar with a warm glow, helpful since the muted English-style wallpaper and cherry oak furnishings rob much of the available light, but the effect is dramatic and attractive. The bar also features one of the best meat & cheese plates in the city, if only for the Calabrese, which is the perfect enabler for a few more classic whiskey cocktails.

It also might enable you to download some Hank Williams and get a “Big Daddy” Roth tattoo, but you came to rock this town, right?