During the prohibition, Santa Monica had few places that were able to serve as a speakeasy. The Del Monte in Venice and the basement that was revived of the King Eddy Saloon were two that were revamped in 2009.
In 2009, the Varnish was quietly opened up behind unmarked doors at the rear of Cole’s which miraculously survived the Prohibition by selling “near beer”. Shortly thereafter Jonnie and Mark Houston, brothers, opened the La Descarga which would be a mini-empire with secretive entrances and hotspots.
If you’re looking for something that is a little different than the usual bar or nightclub experience, a speakeasy experience is a refreshing option that will leave a lasting impression! When considering a speakeasy, one wishes to find one that is off the beaten path for a true speakeasy experience. Otherwise, it’s just another typical venue.
(img: a true speakeasy entrance disguised as a phone booth. Credit: crainscleveland.com)
The True Speakeasy Experience
Many speakeasies require a password and others are hidden behind a conceptualized front that often crops up and disappears only to crop back up elsewhere.
One of the best is hidden on the 2nd floor in the Montage Beverly Hills, above the Georgie restaurant, there is a swanky whiskey bar that is unsurpassed.
Here you can sip your favorite malts in a Lalique glassware with ice spheres that are made of imported water in the Scottish Highlands.
To make it even more enticing, it’s the only location in the entire Western United States where you can taste the 65-year-old Macallan which makes it about as luxurious as you can find for a speakeasy.
The only way to find it is to make a reservation by texting or calling them at 310.906.7218. Be ready to spend quite a bit for this adventure.
Kids love to peek over the tops of bars and into the “Adults Only” sections of just about anything. Guess what, so does Hollywood. Here you’ll find luxury waiting for you with tequila and grapefruit as well as white pepper syrup. So where do you find this? Seek out the fake video stores in Hollywood strip malls and follow glowing pink signs to the back. You’ll find your way in.
Solidarity has a lovely Polish front. Here you’ll wade through a lovely dining area and find the white bookshelf next to the ice machine. It’s all located at Warszawa in Santa Monica.
Now that you know a few of the speakeasy locations, you can venture in and you’ll be able to befriend the other patrons and find your way to more of the speakeasies in the area. It’s fun and exciting to creep around town and locate these secret venues.