Do you ever stumble across something and wonder if it was intentional or accidental? That's how this feels. The Hanny's basement dolls are a creepy installation of old figurines gathered around a table, staring at those who wander down the stairs. What's their story?
Hanny's, now on the corner of First and Adams Street in downtown Phoenix, first opened as a dry-goods store in 1912 on Central before merging with a department store in 1939 and moving into its current home, the edifice which was built in 1947. After the department store closed in the late '80s, the building was consistently set on fire while being used for training by the fire department.
It was bought in 2005, renovated for three years, and transformed into the chic bar it is today, though with some remnants from its previous life still intact.
The empty elevator shaft covered in plexiglass, the beaded sculpture mannequin, and the trippy restrooms are all intentionally designed to be artful additions to the restaurant.
The dolls, however, were supposed to be temporary.
The owner of the restaurant, Karl Kopp, had the dolls arranged in the basement as a short art installation. The dolls took on such a life of their own that they became a permanent fixture.
While many of the dolls were sought out by the owner, several of them have unknown origins and simply appeared in the basement one day.
Narcity has reached out to Rainy Crump, Vice President of Hanny's, and will update this article when we receive a response.
The number of dolls arranged fluctuates between 12 and 15, and most of them are the originals.
As for those of unknown origins, they guess that some of the dolls are brought in by employees, while others are sent or dropped off by customers.
Some dolls have mysteriously disappeared, somehow escaping the chain link fence they're trapped behind and making their way out into the world.
The dolls are completely free to see, just take the staircase on the right when you enter the building.
Sip on a martini while you contemplate this unexplained phenomenon. It's equal parts fun and creepy to sit upstairs knowing what lies below.
Rumor has it that Hanny's is haunted and the dolls sure help that reputation. Whether or not you choose to believe is entirely up to you, but we think once you check the basement out, you'll be more than a little spooked.
Cuisine: New American
Address: 40 N. First St., Phoenix, AZ
Why You Need To Go: Grab a $7 martini at this chic bar with tons of cool art installations and a creepy basement with antique dolls.