Speakeasy Craze Sweeps Up Young and Old Alike

By
But is it a "speakeasy" single-malt? Photo: IntangibleArts via Flickr

The L.A. Times' Brand X recently opined that L.A.'s latest cocktail craze was overrated. Fortunately, though they claim to be content with "a shot and a beer," it doesn't mean the paper has stopped covering or caring for the latest in booze news. Having introduced us to Roger Room and Audrey Saunders, LAT now turns its monocle on existing bars that apparently don't read Brand X and have jumped on the classic cocktail bandwagon themselves.

Crown, King King, Checker's, and Cicada have all added their own retro nights centered around crafting cocktails and the vibes of eras gone-by, while scattered parties to celebrate Prohibition's repeal and a thirties-themed New Year's party at SkyBar are coming around the bend. LAT also prepares us for the swelling wave of prohibition-era homage, with details that Venice's Townhouse will finally utilize their former speakeasy space within the next six months, while Marbella is a massive event space revitalizing the luster that once drew Charlie Chaplin to carouse there, and they're also building a basement jazz club. We're not sure if there's a connection between the two, but we also get advance notice that Mark Peel's Tar Pit will be followed by "an interpretation of Gertrude Stein's 1920's Paris Saloon," coming to the Ivar space.

We can't help but agree that a $14 cocktail, no matter what era or hand it comes from, is still too pricey. But while we continue rooting on our city's embrace of its forgotten noir past, we only hope bar and club owners are more interested in celebrating L.A.'s heritage than in joining another trend in the pursuit of dollar signs. As Eat.Drink.Play's Dan Silberstein, who recently held a speakeasy event at The Renaissance, sums it up, "These days, a single malt tasting wouldn't bring the same crowd as say, a 'speakeasy' single-malt tasting."

Drinking To The Good Old Days [L.A. Times]