The Bunker Club’s Uniqueness
Visiting the Bunker Club is in some ways similar to visiting Disneyland. When you are inside Disneyland, you rarely think of the world outside. This is exactly what the owner Hailey McDermid set to accomplish when he launched the Bunker Club.
Hailey Mcdermid’s first attempt at bar ownership was The Pumpon Walker Avenue, a venture in which Hailey had partnered with her husband Ian. Although The Pump was very retro and stylish, Hailey believes the best name to describe The Pump is comfort kitsch. The Bunker Club has taken Hailey and Ian’s love for design and American History to a whole new level.
Hailey and Ian are nostalgic about a point in time that they never got to experience. They are in love with the advertising and preparedness represented by that period. Bunker Club is not a museum as many people think. It is also not a political bar or anything of the sort. It’s an ode to the preparedness, it’s an ode to the propaganda, it’s an ode to the art, the fear of what’s to come, the hope of a future, and what that inspired in the daily lives of people.
The Bunker Club’s polished novelty boasts of inspiration made possible thanks to a collaborative effort. Ian and Hailey provided a vision of what they wanted the Bunker Club to look like and evoke, and a slew of local artists created some of the art pieces on the walls and the murals. Close to the door, a painting created by Mind Bender Tattoo artists portrays several famous political activists and communists, including Woody Guthrie of Oklahoma. Fraidy Cat Signs’ Tanner Fraidy is the man behind the murals at the back of Bunker Club. These two artists are also responsible for the hand-lettering found throughout the Bunker Club.
The Pump family also contributed to the decor in the Bunker Club. Glen Bliss, who is the assistant manager at both The Pump and Bunker Club, alongside several members of The Pump family spent countless hours combing antique and thrift stores for the perfect decoration pieces, and many went as far as donating their personal items to ensure that the Bunker Club looked perfect.
Although the intention of the Bunker Club is to evoke the feeling of the atomic age of the ‘50s and space race, a keen observer will notice that there are many anachronisms. The Scenery is perhaps the most noticeable feature of the Bunker Club. However, the drinks make you want to keep on visiting the establishment. Hailey, Glenn, and some of their bartenders have crafted fun cocktails that are unpretentious yet elevated. Complementing the Bunker Club’s theme, owner Hailey describes the cocktails as creative atomic cocktails.