Rookery: Empty Nest

The cavernous Rookery bar (1331 SW Broadway, 222-7673,—above Raven & Rose in the ancient Ladd Carriage House—looks like the thick-raftered parlor of a man whose things are not to be fucked with. Swizzles are molded into art-deco skulls, crystal bowls are strewn casually on ledges, and water is held aloft over the bar by silveroid angels. The bar's dark-marbled rock looks to have been cracked and hardened by magma, then cooling river. The liquor selection is even more impressive than the room—oft-neglected rum sports a meticulous selection, including Zaya, Appleton Estate, Neisson, Don Q and Mount Gay Black—but rarely has such imposing opulence been put to such pedestrian, if eminently tasteful, purpose. Cocktails, such as a $12 old-fashioned named after the founder of Reed College, are designed less to surprise than to pickle drinkers in history. Middle-aged diners talk quietly and contentedly in easy chairs near the large gas-lit hearth, approximately 15 years après-ski. Two large flat-screen TVs hang muted and unwatched and tuned to sports, while the pool table sits vacant, pristine as sculpture. The Rookery's hearth-side birdcage is equally vacant, holding steady only the air.