Monkey Room cocktail menu

Here's a cocktail menu from the Monkey Room, a drinking establishment once ensconced in Spokane, WA's Sillman Hotel. What a lovely piece of design, and what a deadly collection of concoctions.

cocktail menu from Monkey Room, Sillman Hotel - Spokane, WA (Thanks, Frycook!)


    1. At a guess, they had different tax levels/rules for “serving places” and “entertainment places”, and having any live show moved it to the latter category?

      It’s vaguely like why places with optional takeaway here in Norway have to ask if you’re eating in:  Eating at a restaurant is a service (normal 25% VAT),  while take-away gets the reduced 15% VAT that applies to food purchases. Tax rules are entertaining, as long as you don’t have to deal with them. :)

      1. In Sacramento, CA, at Subway, (a sandwichich shop chain), the sandwiches are taxed, unless they’re for take away, then they’re not, unless they’re toasted, then they’re back to being taxed.
        Frozen yogurt shops charge tax unless it’s to go.
        And California has over 100 different jurisdictions (cities, counties) that can each charge their own sales tax rate.

        1. Toaster taxes are insidious, and there’s no way to protest them!  Throw a bunch of toasters into the bay and you’ll electrocute all the fish (and possibly ignite the bay).

    1.  If it’s 1955 (the linked site says 40’s-50’s) $1 is worth about $8 in today’s money. I use this site: inflation calculator all the time, especially when I watch old movies or TV, to get a sense of how much money people are talking about.

  1. “What a lovely piece of design, and what a deadly collection of concoctions.”

    And then there’s the, you know, noxious racism.

    1. It was a different time.  Why, even as recently as the 80’s I saw CHILDREN hanging around monkey bars.

      1. And were the Asian ones always late because their dads brought them over in a rikshaw, prior to another long day of hauling around the kinds of people to whom that whole drink menu is aimed, that is, middle-class white people?

        1. Yes, but they made up for it by being good at math.  Fortunately most of the kids ignored the monkey bars, the crow bars and the classes, and instead spent most of their time trying to figure out which among them was the angriest.

  2. I guess I’m not seeing the “lovely design” here. I mean, it’s a swell piece of ephemera, but when I look at this I’m not blown away by the elegance. Instead I sort of think, “Aww, bless their hearts, they tried as hard as they could with two-color printing and rudimentary line art.” (Ditto with their earnest but equally failed attempt to be not-racist.)

  3. Worst part of this menu is that they don’t tell you what’s in the drinks.  I mean, a shark fin sounds intriguing, but what the hell is in it?

      1. Don’t be fatuous, Antinous.  Liquified cartlidge would never make it to a coctail menu without some serious booze to back it up.

        So what is it?

        1. It could be fermented and distilled cartilage.  Don’t people in Iceland eat that for breakfast?

  4. I find it interesting that a “Monsoon” is limited 8 to a customer. Considering it’s the most expensive drink, and the only one with that warning, it’s probably very strong.

    Today they’d probably limit two per customer. Another sign of the changed times.

    1. That’s a 3, not an 8.

      Much like a gin and tonic, monsoons can vary by region, country, and planet. Here’s a recipie for _a_ monsoon, maybe not _that_ monsoon:

      It is a big drink that will make you wonder why all the rum is gone. You drink them like crazy while forgetting about how your body absorbs alcohol at more or less a fixed rate, no matter how quickly you consume it…. at least, after the second one in 30 minutes you forget.

      1. I think tiki lounges are an exception to that. Tiki bars have always served massive party cocktails with loads of liquor and fruit juice. The ‘Scorpion’ is the size of a fishbowl and has been for over half a century.. I’m sure tiki drinks have gotten larger over the years, but they have always been large.

        1. Yeah, that’s true.  I’ve never been an umbrella drink person.  Or a ‘dusty blowfish hanging from the ceiling’ person.  Just give me a bottle of Ketel One and a straw and I’m good.

  5. I don’t know about those drinks.  I want a drink to get me drunk, not make me climb the nearest coconut tree.

  6. Hey, I remember that top monkey from somewhere. As a kid, I  used to have a yellow(ish?) plastic placemat with a scene involving a bus, a bunch of monkeys and of course, bananas. I’m fairly sure it featured either a very similar  ape or that very one. Good memories.

  7. This reminds me of some of an old favorite of mines’ drinks.  First menu page nothing but tiki drinks each in it’s own special tiki mug. 
    Fu Manchu – ‘he speaks for himself’  was a favorite.

  8. There are a series of politically incorrect drinks named for Marion Barry, Ted Kennedy, Barney Frank and the Republican Party at The Political Commentator. This is the link:

  9. “Missionary” and “Coolie” don’t exactly carry the same weight, as far as racial epithets go.

  10. I’m sure in another 50 years we’ll consider some perfectly acceptable language of today just as taboo. 

    Here’s hoping! 

    Anyway, my pointing out overlooked racism (sexism, etc.) is not a way of “pissing all over BB.” I love BB! But I also love recognition of abuse for what it is, wherever and whenever it occurs. I’m not saying this drink menu shouldn’t be featured on BB; I am saying, though, that recognition of its racism,  along with the highlighting of its design and deadly concoction offerings, would’ve be nice.

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