‘Welcome to the Kasperina’. That is the kind of phrase that is said with such sly revelry, such smooth ease that it makes the patrons feel instant pride upon hearing it. They know they’ve made it to the inner sanctum when you say that.
Welcome to the Kasperina, the party kicks off at midnight. I poured everything I had saved, inherited, and stolen — allegedly — into building this place. The Kasperina is less Sodom and Gomorrah and more like the ferry to paradise and when you welcome the patrons, you are their blessed ferryman. Here everything is better; the parties are bigger, the music is louder, the drinks are smoother, and the service is faster. It’s like dancing the night under a velvet sky in this sandstone basement. The Kasperina is more than a place to drink. It’s a den of dreamers sharing a dream, a wild fantasy full of riches and power. And waking up from this fantasy is purely optional.
Welcome to the Kasperina. It’s where you’ll come up with your plan to get rich, it’s where the idea will dawn on you. It’s where you’ll meet the person that will change your life. When you work at the Kasperina, you have to cultivate this image, this style. It’s in everything we do, from the types of drinks to the types of jazz; even our secret pass phrase that brought you passage into this den of dreamers: ‘don’t you dare be late!’
Welcome to the Kasperina, don’t you dare be late. That phrase says it all. Once Otto and his band start playing, this place starts swaying and swinging and the doldrums fade to make way for the drums.
Welcome to the Kasperina, a place of impunity and opportunity. Just sit back and watch and you’ll learn who to make deals with and what kinds of deals they offer. Karl says he has a sure bet for tomorrow’s horserace but he’s always broke so his sure bet is a must avoid if you’re smart. Thomas says he heard of work if you’re looking, but Thomas is covered in coal dust for a reason. Boiler-room work is not what the era calls for, does it? In that corner, Edith holds dominion over her fiefdom of pickpockets; the best information network in the city. Francis always has a job at the dock for anyone, the kind of job where you keep what you carry but you’ll have to run like the wind. And of course, every patron must know the Kasperina’s in-house bookie: Ernst, Edith’s brother. Don’t mind the scars, he’s a friendly guy as long as you don’t win the bet.
Welcome to the Kasperina. The underbelly of the city swells and bloats and starts speaking in tongues, here at the Kasperina. People think the underbelly is seedy but it’s full of food and everyone has got to eat.
Welcome to the Kasperina, where you are fed a well-balanced diet of rumours and secrets. There is no ceiling in this basement. You are what you make of yourself at the Kasperina, just make sure your pockets are full when you arrive at the door.
Welcome to the Kasperina, home to all the dreams your sordid little imagination can fathom. And some it can’t. Don’t you dare be late!
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