Monthly Review by Kathleen Harrington
AKA: The Secret Bar
Location: 100a Brewer Lane, Carrboro, N.C. 27510
Age range: Late 20s and 30s
True to its name, this spot isn’t an easy one to find. I parked beyond the railroad tracks that cross Brewer Lane and walked back up toward East Main Street in search of this bar.
Past the United Tae Kwon Do Academy are a series of mostly unmarked entrances and mysteriously lit windows in a brick wall. Luckily, people ahead of me picked the right entrance – an industrial-looking door that opens to a well-lit concierge-esque desk. To the right is a candlelit room with one long, high-top table, a bar lining the far wall, and black shelving from floor to high ceiling behind the bar filled with liquor and chemistry-class era beakers and flasks.
I had the pleasure of meeting both the manager, Heather Shores, and owner, Tim Neill, during my visit at Peccadillo and they were kind enough to expand on some of the oddities. Neill explained the beakers and flasks are due to a friend of his that discovered their usefulness in aerating wines. He also explained the bartenders’ lab coats provide a simplified uniform and have nothing to do with the presence of the beakers.
Apart from its unique adornments, Peccadillo had an intimate and sultry atmosphere. Between the dim candlelight and the speakeasy-type location, this bar and its patrons gave the impression they had hushed secrets to keep. This is definitely a great spot for catching up with a close friend or possibly trying something new with a romantic interest. If you’re looking for a throwdown, keep on looking because this is definitely not your scene.
Peccadillo channels its cocktail party atmosphere through a simplified selection. Its food is limited to meat and cheese platter combinations but its other three menus offer beer, wine and nine specialty cocktails. The cocktails are all $12 – a turnoff for most drinkers accustomed to much lower prices. Wine and beer prices range from $4 to $48, a huge discrepancy for the unexpecting patron.
Even with these slight limitations, the cocktails were made with care, and the manager explained their lack of a signature drink is due to each cocktail receiving equal attention and skill. Among familiar mixes like the Manhattan or Bellini, one unique cocktail, dubbed the “Josh & Sarah,” caught my eye. It includes becherovka, a liqueur from Czech Republic, and they are the only bar locally that serves it.
Every high-quality bar, restaurant and organization has a sexy factor: that one thing that sets it apart from all of its competitors. Like most, Peccadillo has top-notch service, alcohol and atmosphere. Its drinks may be pricey and its door hard to find but the speakeasy-feel of the bar as a whole sets it apart from your average city spot. The bar provides a private and secluded feel – as though you received the golden ticket others might not have. This feeling of being in the know, makes Peccadillo an intimate spot for locals to have as their own.
Though hard to find, this bar was a refreshing Friday night adventure for someone used to frequenting local favorites. The location proved exciting rather than frustrating and added a great deal to the overall atmosphere. The prices and limited selection are a major deterrent for anyone hoping for a casual cocktail but the fantastic setting and personable staff make up for it.
I absolutely recommend visiting this spot at least once because it’s not every day you can find a secret bar. Overall, this one proved well worth the search.