Where To Celebrate Repeal Day With Cheap Drink Specials & More
Los Angeles is awash in speakeasy-style bars these days, but there was a time when Prohibition laws made secretive watering holes a necessity rather than a cool novelty. Thankfully on Dec. 5, 1933—also known as Repeal Day—the 21st amendment ended 13 years of Prohibition, allowing the booze to flow freely once again. So, this Saturday, feel confident that you're drinking with purpose as we raise a glass to, well, alcohol. From $1 drinks and specialty cocktails to full-tilt festivities with brass bands and dancing, here are many of the bars and restaurants around town that will be celebrating Repeal Day. All specials take place on Saturday unless otherwise noted.
With a company named for the year prohibition ended, you can bet the cleverly themed bars from the 1933 Group will once again deliver on some great Repeal Day specials. On Saturday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., their bars around L.A. will be offering $1 drink specials. So if you're looking to celebrate with an Old Fashioned for only a buck, head to Harlowe, Bigfoot Lodge and Bigfoot West, Oldfield's, Thirsty Crow and Sassafras. Or if you prefer to toast the boozy holiday with a Tequila Press for $1, make your way to La Cuevita in Highland Park. Just keep in mind, you can only order one drink at a time, dear reveler.
More info on the bars and details on the locations can be found here.
Townhouse & the Del Monte Speakeasy
Opened in 1915, Townhouse is one of the oldest bars in L.A. and their basement bar and entertainment venue—known as The Del Monte—actually operated as a speakeasy during Prohibition. So, for their 100th anniversary, you can bet they'll be throwing one serious Repeal Day celebration. While the anniversary party kicks off on Thursday and lasts the weekend, on Saturday they'll kick things off early at 12 p.m. (instead of the usual 8 p.m. opening) with plenty of hoopla. When the bartenders ring a bell, there will be one hour of Prohibition-era priced drinks. You'll also find food from Hatchet Hall, a brass band-led parade, and a boozy coffee party next door at Menotti's. A jazz quartet will play at 5 p.m., there will be a historical talk about Prohibition-era Venice at 6 p.m. and DJs spinning throughout the night.
Townhouse is located at 52 Windward Ave, Venice, (310) 392-4040
On Saturday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. the breezy Playa Provisions will be pouring $2 Basil Hayden Old Fashioneds for those looking to celebrate beachside.
Playa Provisions is located at 119 Culver Blvd, Playa Del Rey, (310) 683-5019
The Scofflaw (courtesy of The Hungry Cat)
The Hungry Cat
Bar manager Dona Bridges has devised three Prohibition-inspired libations for you to enjoy at the Hollywood location of The Hungry Cat, which can be had for $7 each or 2 for $12. There's the Scofflaw, featuring Rittenhouse rye whiskey, Dolin dry vermouth, fresh lemon and grenadine—a recipe from Harry's Bar in Paris circa 1924 and named for those who imbibed, despite Prohibition. Or there's the Hanky Panky with Plymouth gin, cocchi vermouth di Torino and Fernet-Branca, in honor of the the bartender Ada Coleman from the American Bar at the Savoy Hotel in London in 1925. And then there's the Jack Rose—a drink sipped by Jake Barnes, the main character of Hemingway's 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises. It features Laird's bonded apple brandy, lime and grenadine.
The Hungry Cat is located at 1535 Vine St, Hollywood, (323) 462-2155
This bustling downtown watering hole may feature plenty of European flair, but they're honoring the American day of liberated booze with a couple great specials. From 12 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday, when you purchase one Jameson Black Barrel Old Fashioned, your second will be only $1. They'll also be serving up a Nucky Thompson-approved Boardwalk Empire punch for $4, featuring Bushmills, Gifford pêche, lemon and grenadine.
Beelman's Pub is located at 600 S Spring St, downtown L.A., (213) 622-1022
Angel City Brewery & Public House
The 1913-built John A. Roebling Building that houses Angel City Brewery was around for plenty of Prohibition-era shenanigans, so it's fitting that they're hosting a special Repeal Day party up in the Mezzanine Lounge. Beginning at 8 p.m. on Saturday the space will be transformed into the Speakeasy Lounge with a specialty flight bar featuring barrel aged and cellared beers. You'll also get to sample Angel City’s Sparkling Berliner-Weisse, a holiday special that is blended with Chardonnay and Viognier grape must. Flapper dresses and fedoras, suspenders and sequins, and all manner of jazz-age fashion are strongly encouraged. And like the speakeasies that Repeal Day upended, you'll get a complimentary toast if you mention the secret password found on Angel City's social media accounts.
Angel City Brewery & Public House is located at 216 S. Alameda St., downtown L.A., (213) 622-1261
Toast to repeal day with a martini (Photo courtesy of Terrine)
Pull up a chair to the stylish copper bar at Terrine to order an Ancient Age Old Fashioned for only $6. Bar maestro Ryan Wainwright will also be pouring classics all night long starting at $9, including Daisies, Manhattans, Hot Toddys, and his signature Plymouth Martini, saving you a few bucks each that you can then spend on a delicious dinner there.
Terrine is located at 8265 Beverly Blvd., Beverly Grove, (323) 746-5130
West Hollywood's newish, laid-back spot for eats and drinks is launching a trio of holiday-themed shots, and to celebrate Repeal Day, they'll be available to try for half price. For $6 each you can ring in the holidays and the end of Prohibition with the Sundae Fundae with Bailey's Chocolate Cherry Liqueur, vanilla vodka, whipped cream, chocolate drizzle and a cherry; an Eggnog Slingshot; or the Dulce de Leche with Bailey's Caramel Liquer, Frangelico, caramel rim and cinnamon.
Bar10 is located at 8933 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, (323) 332-6445
The WTFDR (Photo courtesy of The Independence)
The Independence in Santa Monica invites you to celebrate our independence from the tyranny of Prohibition with the $4 WTFDR cocktail from 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday. The cocktail is a tribute to Franklin Delano Roosevelt who repealed Prohibition—and who is said to have enjoyed Bermuda Rum Swizzles while sailing. The drink features dark rum, honey ginger syrup, fresh lime, pineapple juice and Jerry Thomas bitters.
The Independence is located at 205 Broadway, Santa Monica, (310) 458-2500
Dog Haus Biergarten
From 11:00 a.m. to 7 p.m., you can sip frosty PBRs for $1 at the Dog Haus Biergarten in Pasadena, while devouring their signature dogs, haus sausages and burgers that our Prohibition-era ancestors could have only dreamed about.
Dog Haus Biergarten is located at 93 E. Green St, Pasadena, (626) 683-0808
Opened in 1908, Cole's is another one of L.A.'s oldest bars and managed to operate through Prohibition by selling "near beers" with very low alcohol, shots of bitters and, of course, their signature French Dip sandwiches. So, you can bet they were celebrating when Prohibition was repealed, and this Saturday is no different. From 6 p.m. to midnight, stop by for $4 Old Fashioneds and $1.90 draft pints of Lagunitas Pilsner. Oh, and you'll probably want to order a French Dip, too.
Cole's is located at 118 E 6th St., downtown, (213) 622-4090