Threesome Tollbooth is a Secret New York City Bar that Only Fits 3 People

threesome tollbooth

The concept of a tollbooth-sized, three-person speakeasy hardly seems like a viable business plan. However, it’s clear the the folks behind Threesome Tollbooth are motivated by more than turning a profit. The idea is a novel (if hipster) blend of cocktail-fueled entertainment and performance art, and it couldn’t be more quintessentially Brooklyn.

Beyond the vague details on its official FAQ page, there’s little public information available about Threesome Tollbooth. At its core, it’s an enigmatic and exclusive popup speakeasy. “Enigmatic” because few patrons know exactly where it’s located, and “exclusive” because tickets are nigh impossible to get your hands on. It’s about as intimate a bar as you’re ever going to find. In fact, Tollbooth’s FAQ states very plainly there’s only room for “you and one person with whom you are very comfortable.” Make sure you can fit comfortably in an airplane seat, because space is tight. The third person? Your bartender.

The creative force behind Threesome Tollbooth is N.D. Austin. New York locals may recall Austin as the brains behind The Night Heron, a blatantly illegal jazz club that opened in 2013 in an abandoned Chelsea water tower. The artist’s resume, as it were, includes similar projects in Cairo and Iceland. Along with Ida C. Benedetto, Austin launched Sextantworks , a since-disbanded project through which the duo created “dozens of site-specific experiences inspired by generosity, location, intimacy, and transgression.” So, his creative influences are clear.

Ticketed guests are emailed the day of their reservation with instructions to meet Austin or his partner outside a heavily graffitied, but otherwise unassuming metal door in Bushwick. On the other side lies an alley, which leads to a literal broom closet inside a shuttered Italian restaurant. The closet has been repurposed with copious wood paneling and lined with proper mixology tools and mystery liquors (some homemade). For the better part of an hour, the two guests are treated to an exclusive tasting menu that changes from session to session. The exact pours are dictated by the whims of the bartender and the sense of adventure (or not) that the patrons bring to the evening.

Tickets are available now through Tock. Expect to wait at least a month to be seated. The pricing varies, but typical prime-time tickets run $120 per person, while early or late night seatings can be had for around $100. A pair of tickets includes one hour of private bartending service and a tasting menu with a handful of three-ounce “mini-cocktails.” The tip is included.