We’ve all endured nights out that have left us feeling a little ratty, but one Bay Area pop-up has decided to take this undesirable side effect a little too literally. For three nights in June, the San Francisco Dungeon in Fisherman’s Wharf will play host to the unambiguously named “Rat Bar” - an alcoholic residency that allows customers to wine and dine with more vermin than they should know what to do with.
From the 13th to the 15th of this month, guests will be able to pay $50 for the privilege of enjoying a cocktail, exploring the dungeon itself and spending 60 minutes playing with an unparalleled collection of pet rodents. The rats themselves come courtesy of the team at Ratical Rodent Rescue, who specialise in rehousing abused pets. It’s unclear whether putting them all in a bar meets the criteria for a successful rehabilitation.
According to an official press release, guests will begin the experience by sampling the pop-up’s signature cocktail: the punnily titled “The Ama-RAT-O Sour”. The experience then continues with a “60-minute interactive show where you’ll learn all about the weird, twisted, dark side of the city’s history – and trust us, there’s a lot to take in on that front. You’ll move through different points in time with actors recreating San Francisco’s darkest moments including the gold rush, Chinatown gangs, Miss Piggott’s saloon where you’ll get Shanghaied (Google it if you didn’t pay attention in history class), the plague (Yassss! More rats!) and conclude in an Alcatraz prison cell where super-creepy ghosts f*#& with you.”
After this tipsy history lesson, the “rat canoodling” begins. According to the release, guests will “have 30 minutes to touch and hold the real-live rodents. (Don’t think about doing more, weirdo.)...When you’re done letting the skittish little critters scurry all over you, head upstairs to The San Francisco Dungeon’s retail shop where a cash bar awaits. Here you can hang out for a while, make new friends with other freaky rat lovers and share a toast in honor of your newly minted furry friends.”
Incredibly, this latest venture is not the first time that a rat-based business has appeared in the area. Last year, West Coast Midway Attractions operated a pop-up Rat Cafe, catering for a similarly pest-enthused audience. According to Matthew Clarkson, the company’s regional head of marketing, the experience left an impression. As part of the press release, Clarkson stated, “Let’s be honest – pastries and coffee were nice and all when we hosted the Rat Café but that was a lot of work. We thought, ‘F it. This time, get drunk, see our show, touch rats and get drunk some more.’”
While an evening of rats and alcohol might sound like hell to some, demand for the pop-up is believed to be incredibly high. The company stress that anyone hoping to book a slot should be on their toes, since their last rat-based venture sold out in 45 minutes. Anyone eager for a ticket can head over to the San Francisco Dungeon website. You can let the rest of us know how you get on.