PHOENIX - On the glass door scribed in gold lettering is "M.O.B. Social Club" and "Est. 2018."
It stands for "Members Only Bar" and refers to the members-only cocktail lounge that recently opened on the third floor of the old Hanny's Department Store building near First and Adams streets in downtown Phoenix. The door leads to an elevator that is illuminated by two vintage-style light bulbs. The button for floor 2 does not work, but the button for floor three puts the gears into motion.
It takes guests to an open-air terrace that lead past a series of windows to another door that leads into the lounge.
"This is a much more refined atmosphere," said Michael Skwiat, the concept's designer.
He points out the gold-trimmed mirrors on the wall, the gold-and-gray floral wallpaper, the $5,000 leather armchairs, the $4,000 curved leather chairs, and the eight $1,000 bar stools that line the marble bar.
In total, there are 40 seats.
"The timings ideal for something like this," he said. The idea was to create a space that was elegant, but not too luxurious or exclusive that it was off-putting or unapproachable.
He wants it to be a place for date nights, networking and social gathering. Not the obnoxious drunk crowd that other bars may attract.
Members will make a reservation to guarantee themselves a seat, and hostesses will take drink orders.
The bar menu consists of 15 signature cocktails that focus on the five main spirits: vodka, whiskey, rum, tequila, and gin. They make all of their syrups in house.
The "classics" menu features the Old Fashioned, Negroni, Aviation, French 75 and Martini. Cocktails vary between $12-$16.
They also have a handful of beer and wine choices.
The "Have the Bee's" cocktail is made with O.H.S.O.'s Arcadia Grapefruit vodka, Salers Apertif, lemon juice, cinnamon syrup and cinnamon bitters.
The "Samuel 75" is made with Drumshanbo Irish gin, Montelobos Joven Mezcal, lemon juice and agave nectar.
"The Dame" cocktail (pictured below) is made with Hansen's Ginger vodka, Cocci Rose, lemon juice and Mango Real syrup.
So, how does the membership work?
A membership is $250 a year, plus $50 a month that applies as a credit towards drinks. It is a use-it-or-lose-it credit and does not roll over into another month.
Skwiat said he plans to sell 1,000 memberships total. A "couple hundred" have already been sold, he said.
He added that memberships likely will increase over time, but those that claim theirs early would be "grandfathered" in.