Tuesday January 15, 2013 | 04:28 PM

What would YOU do if you had an extra $2,000 floating around?

That hasn’t happened to me since I got a mortgage, unfortunately. But it’s fun to fantasize.

If I had 20 Ben Franklins burning a hole in my pocket, I might just turn them over to the guy who is opening the new Portland Hunt and Alpine Club this spring.

A two grand annual fee buys you a “lodge membership” at the cocktail bar. Considering the club doesn’t have an actual location nailed down yet, this could be either an incredibly  stupid or or an incredibly smart move, depending upon how you look at it.

The cynical view is that your money will be going toward first and last month’s rent, so to speak. Before you’ve taken your first sip, you’ll be helping to raise the dough to get the place off the ground.

On the other hand, that’s also a positive. Think of the lodge membership as a “Cocktail CSA” where you’re giving the farmer, er, bartender cash up front for a piece of the “harvest” down the line. You’re getting in on the ground floor here. Don’t screw it up like Dustin Hoffman in “The Graduate.” Cocktail bars in Portland are the new “Plastics.”

The other risk is that you’ll join early and then hate the place. But that’s not likely, considering the benefits of membership. When I read what you get for your $2,000, I confess it made me want to run put on my best flapper dress and buy one of those long cigarette holders so I could look the part in the club’s exclusive speakeasy:

Most of the money, $1,750 of it, goes toward your bar tab, held on specially designed membership cards. Pre-paid martinis??? Sign me up!!!

Lodge members will be the only guests allowed to make reservations. This, along with the fact that only 50 people will be allowed to sign up for the memberships, is the part of the deal designed to stroke your ego. For $2,000, stroke away!

You also get a personalized cocktail menu and drinks. How fun is that?

Other benefits:
– Access to “Hush Hush,” the club’s speakeasy.
– Access to special monthly member events and the annual members-only holiday party.
– Discounts to classes and special events.
– Access to members-only organized trips, tastings and barrel purchases.

For those of you who DO have $2,000 and nothing to spend it on, you can reserve a spot or ask questions about lodge membership at:


About the Author

Meredith Goad has harvested oysters on the Chesapeake Bay, eaten reindeer in Finland and sipped hot chai in the Himalayas. She writes the weekly Soup to Nuts column and enjoys a good cocktail.

Meredith can be contacted at 791-6332 or mgoad@pressherald.com
On Twitter: @meredithgoad

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