Old fashioned: This term describes both the ambiance and Press & Pony's most popular drink. The nondescript entrance is easy to miss next to the bright corner windows of Dharma Sushi on Idaho Street. Heavy curtains cover the door, making your entrance feel at once grand and furtive. The minimal lighting reflects from the copper bar top, giving visitors the vague sense of sitting inside a Moscow mule mug, and even a few patrons make the narrow room bustle. Just be wary of sitting in the last spot at the bar—the only thing dividing that seat from the Boise Fry Co. is another curtain, and a glimpse can ruin your Prohibition illusion.
What's good here? Ask bar master Erik Schweitzer and he will unabashedly respond, "Besides making the best old fashioneds around?" In 2018 he served 7,301 old fashioneds, and plans to break that record this year. During the time I sat at the bar I watched him make 13—bringing his daily average close to 30. It's clear from the flying ice chips as he chisels blocks for each drink that Schweitzer knows what he's doing behind the bar. If you can't decide what to order, he only needs to know liquor and flavor profile you're craving to whip something up.
The bar master: Schweitzer is easily one of the most memorable bartenders I've met in Boise, not the least because of his West Egg appearance—perfectly waxed and twirled mustache, suspenders and Homburg hat. He's a lively host that makes the rounds regularly to check on drinks and the latest developments in life. Also, no less than twice while I was sipping away did he create enormous fireballs behind the bar. I'm still trying to figure that one out.
What's the happiest hour? Classic cocktails are two for one all day on Mondays, and from 4-7 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays
Where to find it: 622 W. Idaho St., Boise