In the dark and gritty underworld of John Wick, there’s only one rule: professionals are told to abide by no business conducted on Continental grounds. That, and markers must be honored. And yet, as if the second to fourth movies of the John Wick franchise have taught professionals nothing, they have murdered another person in The Continental, and this time, you’re prime suspect number one.
That’s the premise when you enter The Continental premises in New York for the next three weeks. The famed downtown Manhattan cultural attraction, and the actual filming location of The Continental in the John Wick series, is hosting a murder-mystery party and you’re at the center of it all.
“Welcome to The Continental: The Hotel Bar Experience” is an immersive cocktail dinner party experience running for three weeks starting September 21. The pop-up spurred with Peacock’s newest prequel to the John Wick series, “The Continental.” Each week of the pop-up also correlates to the release of the latest episode of the three-part series: Part One on Friday, September 22, Part Two – on Friday, September 29, and Part Three on Friday, October 6.
Regardless of whether you’re a diehard John Wick fan or do not know how important the sacred grounds of The Continental are to this deadly world of crime, you’re guaranteed to have a blast at the pop-up bar experience. From questionable subjects offering convoluted information to bloodied suspects giving up even more contradictory statements, you’re playing part detective and part theater goer in this truly enveloping experience. Coupled with the exchange of gold coins like in the movies, you’re pretty involved in the criminal underworld of the John Wick series, and you’re going to love every minute.
The night starts before you even get through the front door. While waiting to take a photo next to an NYC cab straight from the 1970s, you’re accosted by a New York Herald Tribune (RIP to the NYC journo folks out there) reporter who gives you his card and says to text him with any information you might have regarding a mysterious murder on Continental grounds. With the scene set, you’re given three gold coins and are escorted to the front desk of The Continental.
Upon entering the unholy grounds, the concierge explains the rules of the show: keep your “fancy telex machine,” as characters will refer to it often, one at all times as there will be messages conveyed to you–via text so no decoding there–and also opportunities to scan QR codes and take photos that you can check out through a special link sent to you. Additionally, you’re required, absolutely a must, to have a blast. Once you pay your coin to the concierge, you’re invited inside for some champagne while Roy the Cowboy with a loose bolo tie tells everyone a certain set of clues lurks behind the initial bar’s curtains.
Walking behind those curtains, you’re now set in the main setting for the night. There, you’ll find tables and seating arrangements for those who want to just take a laid-back approach to this murder mystery, but for those who are fully involved, there are several somewhat conspicuous characters who are full of clues–or, red herrings. While these characters roam around the room, you’re welcome to exchange your coins for many John Wick-inspired drinks, and you’ll leave plenty filled with the mouthwatering food passed around throughout the night. Don’t worry if you run out of coins–there are trusty porters and bellhops who cleverly slip you a few more when you need them.
With a rather loud interruption in the middle of the night, you’re then left to your own devices as you get riddled with messages regarding which rooms to visit and which characters to speak to–as well as a fun opportunity to take your photo for “intake” with a sassy tattooed assistant telling you in a rather deep 1950s Brooklyn accent to hurry it up. Without giving too much away, you’re in for a treat in the adult playground you’re encouraged to roam with glee.
“Welcome to The Continental: The Hotel Bar Experience” is an immersive cocktail dinner party experience running for three weeks starting September 21. Get your tickets here and let’s see if you make out the suspect before your ex-communicator.