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SAS Martini Lounge

Fair warning: The strawberry martini at SAS Martini Lounge is dangerous. It's nearly impossible to taste even a hint of alcohol in the dark-pink concoction. Instead, it tastes like someone put a few pounds of strawberries into a blender, liquefied them, and carefully poured the results into a martini glass. I was on my third or fifth before I realized the drink is much stronger than it tastes. The dimly lit atmosphere at SAS lends perfectly to the martini-sipping crowd. Red couches, chairs, and tables line the right wall, set up like so many miniature living rooms. A few high-top tables dot the center of the lounge, between the couches and black granite bar. There's a large television toward the back, just above a semi-secluded room with retro leather white couches and what looks conspicuously like a stripper pole.

I order my next martini from a bartender who seems far too happy to be serving drinks for a living. I ask him how he remains so chipper, knowing he'll be working until the early hours of the morning, watching people drink themselves into their nightly stupors. He just smiles and tells me to wait until midnight. Shortly before the witching hour, the crowd starts to pile in and I realize I'm quickly being surrounded by drag queens preparing for a night of singing and dancing like Beyoncé and Britney Spears. One thing for sure: It's going to be a long and entertaining evening.

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Brett Gillin

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