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UnderTow: A look inside Arizona's underground tiki bar

Posted at 6:30 PM, Aug 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-17 22:05:56-04

We're always on the hunt for some of the craziest desserts and foods around the Valley, as well as those destination spots that make our city stand out.

This latest stop docks at UnderTow, an underground Tiki lounge in Phoenix.

Watch the video in the player above to see the special effects in action.

UnderTow began its maiden voyage in 2016. The 500-square-foot premium cocktail lounge was built in an old oil bay beneath Sip Coffee and Beer Garage near 36th Street and Indian School Road.

INSIDE LOOK: Underground Tiki bar opens in Phoenix

In fact, the entrance is inside Sip. There is no signage for UnderTow outside the building or along the street. Just a thatch-covered staircase in the middle of Sip which leads down to the 34-seat bar.

Owners Rich Furnari and Jason Asher, of Barter and Shake, told ABC15 in 2016 that they wanted to create something original for Phoenix.

The design is that of a 19th-century clipper ship.

Sails aside, the bar takes place below deck, literally. A lattice skylight subtly illuminates the bar while vintage lights paint a golden hue throughout. There are faux candles, Tiki-carved pillars, cargo boxes stacked on top of one another, and portholes on either side of the "ship."

During the evening, displays of passing islands, canon-firing battles with enemy ships, a sunset, or even a thunderstorm may fill those portholes.

Being Tiki themed, the menu is heavily rum-based but is not limited to just one spirit. They have created Tiki-style cocktails using vodka, gin, tequila, etc.

Mallory's Treasure, a $35 cocktail, is one of the more extravagant drinks. It is served in a smoke-filled chest and made tableside (or barside).

It is made with 18-year-old aged Agricole (a French-style rum), Japanese whiskey, Palo Cortado Sherry, Italian Amaro, palm sugar and bitters.

Other cocktails vary between $11 - $16.

Because of the bar's small size, reservations are highly recommended. Those can be made online,

The hours are Monday - Thursday, 4 p.m. - midnight; Friday - Saturday, 4 p.m. - 2 a.m.; and Sunday, 2 p.m. - 10 p.m.