Outstanding craft cocktails…check.
All the makings for my kind of speakeasy. Without signage and tucked away in the basement of Crust Restaurant in historic downtown Chandler, The Ostrich is a sultry destination for the craft cocktail aficionado. And this fall they are introducing new drinks and dishes to their full service menu.
Named after the iconic bird that roamed the area back in the early 1900s (A.J. Chandler was an ostrich rancher), this cozy lounge is filled with just as much history as booze. If you get a chance to explore the space, which is during the small window of time before the crowd flocks in, check out every nook and cranny. Here are some things to look for:
- A Prohibition-era ladder: found during the excavation of this basement in June 2015, this ladder was used to sneak into the speakeasy it was way back when.
- Mug shots of the famous: politicians, music legends, film stars, actual criminals, no one was spared from having their mean mug put up on their walls…not even The Ostrich’s own beverage director Brandon Casey.
- Hidden entrance: it is not impossible to find but there are two entrances into The Ostrich. Go wander.
- The Ostrich: you really can’t miss it, but it’s a great statement piece next to the staircase.
- The booths: if you were sad to hear of iconic Monti’s La Casa Vieja on Mill Avenue (a historic Tempe dining establishment in their own right) closing back in 2014, you can resurrect your nostalgia in the burgundy leather studded booths that were brought over to The Ostrich.
- Spooky sightings: so I have been to The Ostrich a few times myself and have never noticed anything paranormal but there have been accounts during construction and since they have been open of spiritual activity. Report back to me if you notice anything!
If I have not already convinced you to visit The Ostrich, perhaps I can tempt you with their new fall menu items. I had the pleasure of sampling five fabulous beverages and several delectable small bites:
The Butcher, The Baker, & The Candlestick Maker: herbal, sweet, and smoky.
The Irish Banana Hammock: Power’s Irish, cream sherry, Montenegro Amaro, Sibona Amaro, Giffard Banane du Bresil, AZ Bitter Lab’s Figgy Pudding. I don’t know what most of those ingredients are but it’s pretty darn good all mixed together.
Under the Norman Sun: VSOP Calvados, Rye, desert blossom honey syrup, AZBL Orange Sunshine, Peychaud’s, Pernod Absinthe Rinse with a lemon twist. More citrus forward with a hint of sweetness.
In addition to these new items, you can still enjoy all their classic cocktails and the entire Crust Restaurant menu from the confines of this underground hideaway. You can also join The Ostrich on October 2 when they celebrate their one year anniversary! But until then, The Ostrich is open Tuesday-Saturday evenings starting at 6PM. For more information, follow them on social media or visit their website: http://crustrestaurants.com/ostrich/
10 N. San Marcos Place
Chandler, AZ 85225