Writing Prompt Story Starter: Cocktail Bar

cocktail bar

The Fiction team hit the cocktail bar last night. On a Thursday! I know!

We actually went out for pizza to celebrate our 150th Fiction Special going to press, looking splendid and within deadline.

And this cocktail bar is just round the corner from the pizza restaurant. It was raining hard, and too wet to walk all the way down to the bus stop/car park/train station . . .

Tracey’s been before, but it was a new experience for the rest of us. Isn’t it fabulous? It had the vibe of a glamorous Thirties ocean liner.

What’s interesting is that it’s within a building that used to be one of those traditional family-owned department stores.

It was quite a posh one. It had a genteel tearoom where the ladies always wore furs and hats as they sipped their afternoon tea from china cups.

Dainty triangle sandwiches. Cake stands. Black-clad waitresses with frilly white aprons and caps. You know the kind of thing.

Period décor

Even though the building has been occupied by another, far more modern department store since those days, somehow lots of the period décor has survived.

There’s an ornate staircase that makes one think of a Thirties New York brownstone. An old-fashioned lift – actually it says “Elevator” above the walnut doors, and there’s a semi-circle floor indicator above.

Dark walls. Opaque glass wall lamps.

This cocktail bar is upstairs on the first floor, but you reach it through a hidden door in a pend at the side of the building (a pend is what we call an alleyway).

Open that door and you can go upstairs to this cocktail lounge, or downstairs into the atmospheric dim lighting of a speakeasy type joint.

We ordered our cocktails – though a flat white for me . . . driving – toasted our Special and wished it every success.

And we took a photograph as a Story Starter so that we could pretend it was all in the interests of work!

Our 150th Fiction Special goes on sale Monday, September 2.

You can order/buy it here: bit.ly/2Ujrh2o

Read more about the Special by clicking the tag below.

Shirley Blair

Fiction Ed Shirley’s been with the “Friend” since 2007 and calls it her dream job because she gets to read fiction all day every day. Hobbies? Well, that would be reading! She also enjoys writing fiction when she has time, long walks, travel, and watching Scandi thrillers on TV.