The nearly 40-year-old sign hanging above the entrance to The Trestle Inn reads: “Whiskey & Go Go.” On a recent Saturday night, as two go-go dancers slowly grooved along the walls, that’s exactly what the whiskey sour-swilling, dancing patrons crowded into the dimly lit bar’s back room got.
A notorious strip club from the early-1970s until 2009, The Trestle reopened in October with a classier, but still seedy, mission to provide ’60s- and ’70s-inspired drinks, food and entertainment.
“The Trestle has a reputation,” says owner Ian Cross. “It’s always been slightly mysterious to people walking by. There’s a feeling people have come to this corner to cut loose for a very long time, and we want to maintain a bit of that spirit while bringing some of the edge back.”
Before the party jumps off later in the night, the bar and dining area offer straightforward comfort foods prepared by former Arrow Swim Club chef Travis Messner, including a pork sandwich, mac ’n’ cheese, pigs feet and homemade beef jerky.
“But it gets funkier and louder later at night,” Cross says about the late-night and weekend crowd, which dances to funk, garage, soul and psychedelic music spun by local DJs. Beginning this week, Trestle’s hosting a monthly First Friday party for those seeking a dance floor after the art galleries close.
“We love the First Friday scene in the Callowhill area,” Cross says. “The whole neighborhood’s hopping, and it’s much more underground than the Old City scene. We’re gonna keep the party going at the Trestle.”