In recent years, conspiracy theories have had an insidious way of busting out of the Reddit and 4Chan message boards and into the real world, where they can cause serious harm. One prime example: Pizzagate and the attack on the Washington, DC pizza joint Comet Ping Pong back in 2016.
Not long after a conspiracy-theory-driven vigilante targeted the restaurant after reading about an alleged child sex abuse ring in the pizzeria's basement, unsubstantiated rumors about other pizza places’ involvement in this so-called pedophilia ring began to spread far and wide. Roberta’s, Brooklyn's beloved wood-fired pizza spot, was next on the receiving end of conspiracy videos on Youtube and harassing phone calls. An ice cream shop (next door to another implicated pizza place) in Philadelphia was another target in 2017. This year, popular Portland, Oregon spot Voodoo Doughnut was the next focus of conspiracy theorist internet ire.
Suddenly, any restaurant could be attacked on the basis of these incredibly complicated webs of conspiracy, all of which—as far as facts are concerned—seemed to be spun out of thin air.
It’s confusing, then, that a soon-to-be bar in Atlanta, Georgia would knowingly throw itself to the wolves by dedicating itself to, of all things, conspiracy theories. Atlanta Magazine reported last week that Judy Ho and Jake Karmin, veteran restaurateurs in the Atlanta area, will be opening a new cocktail bar named Conspiracy sometime next year. Karmin tells the magazine that he’s been “fascinated with conspiracies since he was a child,” and when he and Ho found this space in the Summerhill neighborhood of the city, they thought the theme just felt right. “There was a little basement with low ceilings. It puts you in a secret, clandestine state of mind,” he said.
It’s yet to be seen whether Karmin's space will have more of a Sherlock Holmes vibe or be more of a place for local Redditors to gather IRL and discuss whether 9/11 was an inside job. It is confirmed, however, that Conspiracy Basement Drink Parlor will have a cocktail list that is likely to change in theme from month to month, with themes ranging from Harry Potter to Elvis to the X-Files. Karmin plans to change the bar’s cinderblock-and-concrete interior design on occasion to fit with the month’s theme, too.
MUNCHIES reached out to Karmin to ask if there are any concerns that such a theme might draw some of the more unsavory attention the internet currently has to offer, but has not yet received the response. The bar is on schedule to open late 2019 or early 2020 for all those Atlantans looking for a place to get a little tipsy, then let their imaginations run wild.