May 17, 2024 - News

Grab a key to get into Raleigh's newest bar

The inside of Sous Terre, an underground bar in Raleigh

Inside of Sous Terre. Photo: Jessica Crawford

Sous Terre, Scott Crawford's re-imagining of the former Atlantic Lounge speakeasy in the Oakwood neighborhood, is now open after a significant renovation.

Why it matters: Crawford, one of Raleigh's most prominent chefs, had searched for years for the right place to open a bar, Crawford Hospitality's beverage director Jordan Joseph tells Axios.

  • But it wasn't until the members-only Atlantic Lounge — located under Crawford's French bistro Jolie — put itself up for sale late last year that he found a space suitable for the idea.

What to expect: The redesign of the underground space showcases the building's brick walls, splashes the room with amber lighting and offers a series of welcoming retreats for patrons, Joseph said.

  • The Atlantic Lounge's membership model is still in place — so previous key holders will still be able to get in.
  • New keys and lifetime memberships can be acquired for $50; diners at the adjacent Jolie and Crawford & Son don't need keys.

What they're saying: Joseph, the menu's designer and a veteran of bars like The Crunkleton, said he was interested in using Sous Terre to revisit classic cocktails.

  • Take the Sazerac, for example, a drink that Joseph said he's made so many times he could do it in his sleep. "But what was the drink always missing?" he says. "For me, the texture was critical."
  • He now begins putting together Sazeracs the night before, leaving them in a freezer for at least 12 hours to get the texture to his liking.
  • "We then pour it straight into a glass that's completely frosted over and we spray it with lemon oil and absinthe," he says, "but in my opinion, it's like one of the best drinks I've ever made."

Location: 620 N. Person St., Raleigh

Cocktails at Sous Terre
Photo: Jessica Crawford
a bartender pouring a drink
Crawford Hospitality's beverage director Jordan Joseph. Photo: Jessica Crawford
a dimly lit bar
Photo: Jessica Crawford

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Raleigh.

More Raleigh stories