During the times of Prohibition, men and women found solace hidden in rooms to consume their liquid demons. I’m not judging, but hey that was just the times. These various secret liquor establishments, dotted the urban landscape we all know as Los Angeles. Even after getting White Girl Wasted, our inner human spirit always yearns for the antique stored away for only a select to find. Plus, we like visiting a place stowed away from the world – to sip an expensive cocktail with international hipsters can romanticize a Tuesday night, celebrating four more Instagram followers, and the fifty nine Likes on that Redondo beach volleyball picture. Here are my top five Speakeasies in LA, and the surrounding vicinity.
The Slipper Clutch
351 S. Broadway, Los Angeles CA
Walking distance from most downtown restaurants, makes this secret gem, a popular after dinner sip spot. The pool table and old school video games resonate with that teenager inside us all, who used to sneak the Rolling Rock from Dad’s secret cooler. The waitstaff is very friendly, which is always a plus in an allegedly illegal bar. You don’t want people spilling the bean. The Punk atmospheres invites in all walks of life, who enjoy a great grungy bar. I recommend you go down and clutch a PBR or three!
Was I trying too hard?
N. Western Ave, Los Angeles CA
The Havana inspired interior makes you forget you’re in LA. Instead, you are drinking in a pre – Che’ bar, listening to the rhythmic congo beats, escaping the drummers’ soft palms. There is a dress code, and of course cigars. What would anything Cuban be without a nice, fat Cohiba? This Spanish wine bar brings you back to a time of Caribbean class. For the experienced vino drinker, who likes a dark, smoky elegant space with great food – La Descarga is worth a shot. A shot of wine! Can you shoot wine? Don’t forget the burlesque show. Hubba, Hubba.
Good Times at Davey Wayne’s
1611 N El Centro, Los Angeles
During the times of Bell Bottoms and Threes Company, they probably drank at a little spot like this one. This retro seventies styled bar, brings you to the days of old school TV shows. I felt as if David Banner or the Six Million dollar man would have thrown down a few Jack and Cokes here at one time. I channeled Jack Tripper as I drank in the surroundings – at Good Times at Davey Wayne’s. If that don’t scream Hotel California, I don’t know what does? What other LA bar boasts an Airstream trailer and BBQ in the city of Angels? It’s like Uncle Phil is having a pool party, but he’s charging for the Brewskis. You can’t have a bad times at Good Times at Davey Wayne’s.
If you do, it’s on you bro.
The Exhibition Room
1117 Wardlow Rd, Long Beach, CA
First (Yes there are steps to this)
You must enter Roxanne’s bar – an eclectic bar which also serves various delicious dishes. The interior is Roadster meets Hipster with a stage and live music, which is played on certain days. If that does not captivate your attention, head to the back, passed the pool table. Off to the corner you will notice a phone.
Pick up that phone, ramble back a code, and someone let’s you enter a secret room. Inside that room is a dark, upscale bar, which serves some of the best cocktail in the greater LA area. Usually on the weekend, there is some sort of entertainment for your enjoyment, while you sip on the local mixologist’s work of art. The once hidden bar hidden; in a bar – is hidden – no longer.
118 E. 6th, Los Angeles, CA
Descend the stairs into Coles, down below the tourist strewn streets of Los Angeles. Coles, is a subterranean sports bar with antiquated atmosphere sifting in from the forties. Go around the bar, to the back by the bathrooms – a small door takes you to the almost light-less interior of Varnish. When I think of an authentic Speakeasy this is the kind of place that comes to my mind. With the exception of the Hipsters of course, but what would LA be without them? The inside of Varnish has a rustic feel – illuminated almost exclusively by candle light. It possess a comfortable, safe feeling, like nothing from the streets can get you, because they will eat everyone at Coles beforehand. LA Zombies. If you’re lucky – maybe a band or two will grace your eardrum with some beautiful crooning. Varnish is my favorite Speakeasy.
So, take it easy.