If you have both a Netflix account and a pulse, at some point over the past month you’ve been enthralled by Stranger Things, brothers Matt and Ross Duffer’s lovingly crafted, eight-part pastiche of every ’80s film (and book, and TV show and song) ever.
Jaxon King was hooked. So much so he and his Barbara co-owners will host a Stranger Things party on Saturday night. “My girlfriend and I were watching the show,” he says. “I just needed this date filled at the bar and this idea came up.”
But that was two weeks ago, which on the vertiginous graph of Stranger Things popularity is an absolute eternity. King says things have since escalated wildly. “It’s been crazy watching it take off. Just before we announced it there was that video of Luke Million playing around with the theme, covering it, and that went mental. Now, S U R V I V E (the Austin, Texas-based band that scored the show’s eerie theme music) is booking shows on the back of creating the soundtrack.”
The night will feature Stranger Things-inspired music by regular Barbara DJs, Mitch "Eleven" Exton & Adrian “Hawkins PD” Price, special ’80s cocktails and Stranger Things-themed lettering and lighting. Also, waffles.
“Everyone’s saying they’re going to dress up,” King says. “All of our regulars are really, really excited, and then we’ve had people asking if it’s an 18-plus event,” he says. “And we have to say, ‘Yes, it definitely is’. Because some of their younger brothers and sisters want in.”
Some Barbara staff members have been asking if they can make nights like this a regular thing. But King suspects they’ve captured lightning in a bottle. “This is just all the planets aligning,” he says. “I noticed that no one else had done it yet and it was a perfect idea and right at the beginning of the hype.
“[The bar is] probably going to be full. People will ask if we’re going to do another. I dunno: we’ll see what happens.”
The Stranger Things themed party takes over Barbara Saturday, August 20