Spending a Friday night inside of an RV in Brooklyn may not sound like the most ideal situation – but it isn’t every day that you are given the opportunity to step into a yellow hazmat suit and cook up some cocktails in a mobile lab. As massive fans of the show Breaking Bad, as soon as we discovered this elusive pop-up bar experience, we immediately added our names to the waitlist. We were elated when we finally received the e-mail confirming our reservation. Up until this point, most of the immersive experiences that we had done that involved a popular IP had turned out to be sub-par. Pleasantly, ABQ Bar broke that mold.
Arriving at 10 PM, we were unsure as to exactly how the night would proceed. Our navigation lead us to a lot surrounded by a chain link fence. Lacking signage or any identifiable markings, this turned out to be one of the more inconspicuous locations we had traveled to. There was still a shade of doubt in all our of minds as to whether or not we were even in the correct place. This all went away when a man in lab gear burst out of the RV and yelled at the previous group in full Jesse Pinkman fashion. Our location was confirmed – just what exactly lie ahead of us beyond the RV doors?
We killed a bit of time inside the permanent bar on property while the staff reset the bar within the RV. Before we knew it, we were once again being yelled at by our host but this time, it was to line up to enter. The staff at ABQ were purposely and thematically brash and unapologetic. It was awesome. We were handed a cocktail as we boarded and were shown to a table.
Once seated, not only did we happen upon our yellow hazmat suits, but we were also provided with beakers and chemistry gear galore. It was sticky, it was humid, it was uncomfortable. But that’s exactly how it should have felt. Our lab equipment ranged from different types of flasks to graduated cylinders to pipets. Over the course of an hour and a half, we were tasked to concoct two drinks guided by our experiment instruction sheet and our in-character host. The entire experience ran smoothly. Two of us worked on creating the base of the drink, while the rest of our group had a different solution to mix. There was certainly enough procedures for everyone to help out with. The tasks were involved enough that we were never bored and were kept fun by different staff members coming by to assist with dry ice features and powdered sugar set ups.
From the yellow suits, to the Funions and ‘Kiss the cook!’ wall portrait, and even the in-character, in-theme hosts, this experience was super thematic.The drinks we created were certainly nothing to write home about (except for the blue one that glowed) as they were basically sugary vodka punches – but did we leave this experience happy? Yeah, bitch!
Un-yieling, just like the show it was based off of, this might not be an enjoyable experience for everyone. However, it fit exactly what we were looking for. Thematically, it all made sense & truly immersed each one of us into a world of cooking up some “Blue Sky” in a parked RV.