When looking to enter P's & Q's Auto Body in Huntington, keep in mind: it doesn’t have a front door.
Of course, it has an entrance -- yet instead of employing a typical doorway, P’s & Q’s has a doorman to guide guests beyond what at first seems to be the wall of an old auto repair garage, decorated with vintage oil cans, gas containers and a blackboard offering repair services for under a dollar – but with the push of a hand, that wall swivels back to reveal a “hidden” nightclub.
For several years, this spot was known as Artful Dodger, an ultra-lounge that played host to the Radio party. However, the space has been completely transformed – and as it turns out, the overhaul wasn’t just a move devised by the ‘Dodger ownership, but a plan engineered by the Spike TV reality program, “Bar Rescue.”
Most of the specifics behind the “Rescue” operation have yet to be disclosed, but the program’s involvement has become local knowledge, and Spike has since confirmed its involvement in the undertaking.
For those unfamiliar with "Bar Rescue," the show’s star (hospitality expert Jon Taffer) brings his staff into languishing venues and makes drastic changes, often revamping a nightspot and introducing a completely new motif – and that is exactly what has happened with P’s & Q’s, as the departing metallic furniture and sparse decor of Artful Dodger has given way to a warmer, hip, modern speakeasy concept -- and its efforts to meet that theme are thorough.
On the outside is the old garage look, but inside it transitions into a trendy pub that features a long, wooden bar with backlit shelves holding dated bottles of booze, as well as retro tchotchkes, like an old accordion and a boxy home AM radio. The rest of the lighting is the yellow glow of lamps both hanging and tabletop.
Antique furniture provides seating and table space, and tiny tea lights burn at every turn. A working vintage piano is adorned with a candelabrum, which sits before a background of damask wallpaper further decorated by poster-size images that recall the Prohibition era. Beat-up books are also placed about in several short stacks, and in one circumstance a pile of worn novels are even used to hold up a desk with a broken leg.
On the other hand, the contemporary world of nightlife is also represented, as a DJ spins pumping, danceable beats and patrons can choose libations from a chic cocktail menu. The joint opened July 23, 2014, but it already seeing a steady flow of customers, aging from the 20s to 40s. The dress code is casual, but remains the doorman’s discretion, so it’s best to dress to impress.
P’s & Q’s Auto Body, 30 New St., Huntington.
*As of this writing, P’s & Q’s Auto Body has no website, social media page or phone number.