The Lab, also known as Labyrinth Lounge, has a reputation for their cheap drink specials under $5 every night of the week. This is the spot for rock-bottom prices, not artisanal bitters and steel straws.
Adjoining Future Bistro’s bar menu is also available here, meaning you won’t find any of the perogies or all-day breakfast here that the other spot is known for, but you can get fare like burgers and wings to go along with your $4 beer.
Most of the interior that backs against Future’s dining room is dark and almost windowless, but cheered up by little twinkly lights and chandeliers, with a decent amount of seating for larger groups.
This is made up for by a more open front section, though, where a large garage window opens to the streets, a retro tiled bar zig-zagging into the corner.
Chicken wings are $14 a pound and come with a typical choice of BBQ, honey garlic, mild, medium, hot or suicide sauce, served with veggies and dip plus a side of fries or greens.
Fries, onion rings or frings alone will run you $6 which seems a bit steep, though The Lab has to make its money somewhere and fries are always a balm for a beer-soaked stomach.
A burger ($10) is honestly delightfully middle-of-the-road, and I’m loving the old school presentation of condiments on the top bun. Topped with classic fixin’s of lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle, it’s nothing above average, but why leave to eat when you could keep the cheap alcohol flowing?
Nachos also seem pricey at $17 just topped with salsa, but it is quite the cheesy mountain of chips and they do remain crispy rather than getting too soggy immediately. Add chili or chicken for a $3 upcharge.
Draft beer options ($6.50 for 20 ounces, $17 for a 60-ounce pitcher) are essentially the same as at Future, mostly Amsterdam beers like Boneshaker, Cruiser and 3 Speed, as well as PBR, Steamwhistle and Unibroue for good measure. Slightly craftier choices like Side Launch and Flying Monkeys can be found in cans for $7.
Bar rail drinks are once again not stunners but they’re serviceable, reasonably priced standards, my Old Fashioned ($9) neon orange, a little sweet and garnished appropriately with an iconic orange twist and maraschino cherry.
As for those specials, there’s usually some kind of $4 bar rail every night, $5 tall cans or $4 16-ounce draft beers most nights.
The space used to be home to the bakery for Future, back when items sold there were baked at the shop.
After that it became a metal bar called The Iliad for a while, finally turning into The Lab around 2000.