Platform 18 boasts one of the most unique concepts on the North America’s 50 Best Bars list. Stepping out of Phoenix’s arid desert heat and into bar within the Century Grand building, guests are transported to a Louisiana train platform.
Oaks draped in Spanish Moss rise up and a station housing an apothecary sits to one side, a train car on the other. The immersive scene was conceptualised by an ex-Disney Imagineer; a breeze blows through the ‘outdoor’ areas, stars are visible in the ‘sky’, the train’s interior is a remarkable simulation of a vintage carriage in motion. But, Platform 18 is more than a theme. Here, Jason Asher and Jax Donahue have also crafted a world-class bar programme. Asher and Donahue are devotees of craft and technology, spending weeks developing drinks in an onsite lab. The attention is evident in its cocktail list, with inventive drinks such as the Blame the Dutch (coconut oil-washed gin, lemongrass, lime leaf, lemon, lime and chilli oil) and the Lipstick & Earrings (strawberry-infused vodka, blume apricot eau de vie, kumquat liqueur, Italian bitters, lemon juice and orange oils) up for grabs. A range of 1930s and 40s-inspired concoctions are also available, should a more classical cocktail experience be desired. Connoisseurs looking to suspend their imagination for a journey of sight and taste will be delighted by this ticket.