By Haley Bartlett, Editor-In-Chief-
Chattanooga’s new and upcoming hottest spot comes in the form of a tucked away cocktail speakeasy known as Unknown Caller.
Formerly known as “London Calling,” the bar residing on Cherry Street has not only made an impression on the patrons but also made history as being Chattanooga’s first speakeasy since the prohibition.
Jessica McDaniels, a bartender and waitress since they opened, said the bar welcomes all types that want to have a unique experience while out on the town.
“If you are 21 you are welcome. I’ve served someone in here as old as 97,” she said. “We literally get every shade you can think of.”
The craft cocktail joint is only distinguishable on the street by the sight of a telephone booth serving as the entrance. However, in order to get where the magic happens, customers have to answer the night’s code on the phone booth, usually played out in a trivia question based on a year.
McDaniels said they recently went through a name change because while the place likes to stay mysterious, many people were assuming they were a British pub and expected to be served items such as fish and chips. To clear up confusion, they changed the name to “Unknown Caller” and are in the talks of leaving it to just “Unknown.”
The owner, James Heely, is responsible for bringing the speakeasy to Chattanooga. McDaniels said he allows his bartenders to change and craft the menu with new items each month, adding more layers to their unique style.
While they take pride in being the #1 night spot in town, they also like to give back as much as possible to the community. Every Saturday they host different live entertainment from belly dancers to cabaret. McDaniels said they also do random things throughout the week like canned food drives.
“We are doing a canned food drive right now for Community Kitchen. If you bring in a can you get access to an exclusive wine list for dirt cheap,” she said. “One week we had seven different charities where each night we changed to one and donated money to a certain organization.”
Susanne Haas, a customer visiting from Chicago on business, said the place piqued her interest after hearing about it from her hotel.
“I think it’s lovely, the first thing I did when I walked in was take pictures for my son,” she said. “Whenever I travel, I seek out interesting places and when the person at my hotel described it to me I thought ‘oh yeah, I have to go to there.’”