Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thursty: Think Tank

It makes sense that in Kendall Square, home to the city’s cutting-edge laboratories and mad scientist lairs, you’d find a spot that defies the natural order of bar classifications. Part shiny and modern, part dive-lounge, Think Tank is a new retro-futurist species all its own. “We call it stylishly divey,” says co-owner Vincent Conte. A gleaming stainless-steel bar and sleek design touches jut up against an orange, faux-leather lounge area, smooth bowling lane-style floors, a photo booth and old arcade games. 

“Think of a teenager in the 1970s moving into their grandmother’s basement,” Conte says. “You walk in and you’re like, ‘Is this supposed to be upscale?’ Then you see the video games and worn fixtures. It’s a little bit ‘Barbarella’ and a little bit ‘Logan’s Run.’”One of the best compliments he’s gotten so far (they’ve been open about a week) is that the place looks like it’s been there forever.  

Think Tank will retain the previous club’s 2 a.m. license, a rarity in the neighborhood, with DJs and dancing after dinner. That comes in handy for the second half of the venture’s neologistic bar genre; they’ve branded themselves a bistro-techque: part bistro, part discotheque. The word play on the bio-tech heavy neighborhood adds an extra layer to the joke, you just have to think about it. 

What he's having
Like a lot of bars now, the cocktail list here skews toward old slings and juleps and the like (wines are largely organic and sustainable). But they don't take themselves too seriously Conte says. “It's about not being too pretentious and giving some great flavor.” Muddling black pepper into a Ginger Rogers variation called the “F” Ginger Rogers made with Karlsson's vodka, ginger, lemon and mint is the staff favorite so far he says. “In a way these are dumbed-down, friendly classics that I'm working on here.”

Think Tank
One Kendall Square
MBTA: Red Line to Kendall Square, 617-500-3031

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