You know that enchanting Victorian house on Santa Monica's Main Street that you only get to go to if you're invited to a private function? Today the L.A. Times whispers that this 19th-century structure recently opened a speakeasy-style bar in its basement, in the venue's old 2,000 square-foot wine cellar. One enters through a secret passage, of sorts, in the parking lot and heads downstairs into a bar space that rocks a stuffed deer head, green couches, a vintage chandelier, and blackboards scrawled with the cocktail menu. Drinks do have a slight preference for bourbon, but cover some common ground for everyone, while food comes from neighbor La Vecchia Cucina. Owner Garner Gerson, of the family that has held the property for 20 years and also owns Cafe Malibu, said he hopes for a vibe like San Francisco's Bourbon & Branch. He also says they've been having fairly small crowds of boozers so far, something that should change by 6:00 P.M. tonight. Hopefully, it stays under the radar of the Finn McCool's/Circle Bar crowd.
Basement Tavern at Victoria, 2640 Main St. Santa Monica. 310-392-4956.