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Bringing Back the Roaring 20s: A Journey through LA's Historic Speakeasies

“In the heart of the city, hidden behind unassuming facades and inconspicuous entryways, lies a network of tucked-away gems—the secret speakeasies of Los Angeles.”


The Sparkling Prohibition Era


In 1920, the United States entered a unique epoch known as the Prohibition Era. Although this period saw the ban of alcohol, ironically, it triggered the upsurge of an illicit yet fascinating drinking culture – the speakeasy. These underground bars, shrouded in secrecy, offered solace to those yearning for a taste of the forbidden fruit. As we embark on this captivating journey through LA's historic speakeasies, we'll time travel back to the Roaring 20s, an era brimming with jazz, flapper girls, and of course, moonshine.



The Speakeasy Scene in Los Angeles


Los Angeles, being a cradle of entertainment, played host to a bustling and vibrant speakeasy scene during the Prohibition. Thanks to the city’s close ties to Hollywood, LA speakeasies were frequented by movie stars and moguls, making them alluring hotspots of glamour and rebellion.


Today, with a resurgence of vintage-inspired watering holes popping up around the city, we can still enjoy an authentic slice of the 20s. These modern-day speakeasies replicate the clandestine charm and old-world ambiance of their predecessors, serving up an intoxicating mix of history, nostalgia, and of course, quality cocktails.

Let's take a stroll down memory lane, exploring the captivating tales of LA's iconic speakeasies, and discover the allure of the modern-day secret bars that are carrying the speakeasy torch into the 21st century.


Circa 1925: The Infamous King Eddy Saloon


King Eddy Saloon, a skid row dive bar with a remarkable backstory, operated as a piano store upstairs, with a basement-level speakeasy during the Prohibition. Its underworld connections and gritty charm made it an LA legend, and today, it still maintains that weathered appeal, pouring stiff drinks to an eclectic clientele.


Hollywood's Golden Age: The Formosa Café


The iconic Formosa Café, a stone's throw from the famous Warner Bros. Studios, has welcomed movie stars and mobsters alike since the 1920s. Although it was technically a restaurant, it had a rich speakeasy heritage, serving drinks to Hollywood’s elite during the Prohibition. Frequented by celebrities like Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra, this historic establishment oozes charm and timeless glamour.


“In the heart of the city, hidden behind unassuming facades and inconspicuous entryways, lies a network of tucked-away gems—the secret speakeasies of Los Angeles.”


Today's LA Speakeasy Scene


Modern speakeasies in LA blend the allure of the Roaring 20s with contemporary aesthetics, breathing new life into the secret bar scene. At Secret Fun Experiences, we're passionate about these modern-day speakeasies, and we've curated immersive experiences that encapsulate the allure of these hidden bars. Here are a couple of standout experiences:


The DTLA Hidden Bars and Speakeasy Experience


In the heart of Downtown LA, we've unearthed some of the city's best-kept secrets, offering our DTLA Hidden Bars and Speakeasy Experience. This immersive experience is more than just a night out—it's a fascinating journey through history, set against the backdrop of the city's stunning architectural gems.


We begin at a former 1920s soda shop turned swanky speakeasy, complete with tin ceilings and vintage prescription bottles (a nod to medicinal alcohol prescriptions during Prohibition). You'll savor a craft cocktail, absorb the historic ambiance, and learn about LA's tumultuous relationship with alcohol in the early 20th century.


As we navigate through hidden tunnels and secret doorways, we make our way to our next speakeasy - a seductive, dimly-lit lounge hidden in the basement of a national bank building. Here, the cocktail artistry is unrivaled, as mixologists blend unique ingredients to create extraordinary drink experiences.



The LA Hidden Bars and Speakeasy Experience


For those looking for a classic speakeasy crawl, our LA Hidden Bars and Speakeasy Experience is your passport to LA's clandestine nightlife. We navigate the city's vibrant neighborhoods, each stop revealing a hidden bar more enchanting than the last.


Our journey starts at a barber shop—yes, you read that right! At first glance, it seems like any ordinary place to get a trim, but a secret door at the back opens up to a whole other world—a stunning, Prohibition-style speakeasy.


Our next stop, nestled beneath an old Hollywood hotel, is a legendary bar that was once the secret rendezvous spot for Tinseltown’s glitterati. The intrigue of the past seamlessly blends with the present as mixologists serve up both classic and innovative cocktails.


Throughout our journey, we impart tales of Hollywood’s golden age, mobsters, movie stars, and how the city’s speakeasies played a part in LA’s rich tapestry.


The Appeal of the Modern Speakeasy


What is it about these hidden bars that captivates our interest, drawing us back to a bygone era of clandestine gatherings and secret codes? Perhaps it's the irresistible mix of the forbidden, the secretive, and the outlandishly stylish. Or, maybe it's the thrill of the hunt—discovering that nondescript door, secret passage, or hidden bookshelf that transports us into another world.


Experience the Speakeasy Magic with Secret Fun Experiences


At Secret Fun Experiences, our immersive journeys take you beyond the traditional bar scene. We open the secret doors to LA's vibrant history, offering not just a night out, but a memorable adventure that captures the spirit of the Roaring 20s. Whether you're planning a private event or seeking an unforgettable date night, our experiences cater to diverse tastes and occasions.


Contact us today to learn more about our offerings and how we can customize your LA speakeasy experience.


FAQs

  1. What is a speakeasy? A speakeasy was an illicit establishment that sold alcoholic beverages during the Prohibition era in the United States, from 1920 to 1933.

  2. Why were speakeasies called 'speakeasies'? The term "speakeasy" supposedly came from patrons being told to "speak easy," or quietly, to avoid drawing attention to these illegal drinking spots.

  3. Are there still speakeasies in LA today? Yes, modern speakeasies exist and have captured the vintage allure of the original speakeasies. They often feature secret entrances, retro decor, and classic cocktails.

  4. What's the dress code for modern speakeasies? It varies by establishment. Some speakeasies encourage 1920s attire to enhance the retro ambiance, while others have a more casual dress code.

  5. Are the speakeasy tours suitable for private events or parties? Absolutely! At Secret Fun Experiences, we offer private event planning services, crafting bespoke experiences that cater to your unique requirements. Our speakeasy tours are perfect for team-building events, birthday parties, bachelor/bachelorette parties, and other special occasions.

  6. Are reservations required for speakeasy tours? Yes, we highly recommend making reservations to ensure a seamless and enjoyable experience. Our team at Secret Fun Experiences is ready to assist you in planning your perfect speakeasy tour.

  7. How long does a typical speakeasy tour last? While the duration can vary, most of our speakeasy experiences last approximately three hours, giving you ample time to soak in the ambiance, enjoy your cocktails, and learn about the rich history of LA's speakeasies.

  8. What is the drinking age in LA, and does it apply to speakeasy tours? The legal drinking age in LA, and all of the United States, is 21. This applies to our speakeasy tours as well. Please ensure to carry a valid ID for age verification at the bars.

  9. Is transportation provided during the speakeasy tours? While our tours are designed as walking tours, transportation arrangements can be made upon request, particularly for private events.

  10. What safety measures are in place amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic? The health and safety of our guests are paramount. We adhere to the guidelines provided by health authorities, including reduced group sizes, mandatory face coverings, and regular sanitization of high-touch areas.

  11. I'm a non-drinker. Can I still enjoy a speakeasy tour? Absolutely! While the speakeasies are renowned for their craft cocktails, the tours offer so much more – from the intriguing stories and historic landmarks to the vibrant social atmosphere. Non-alcoholic beverages are typically available at these establishments.

  12. Can I gift a speakeasy tour experience? Yes, a speakeasy tour makes for a unique and thoughtful gift. Contact our team at Secret Fun Experiences to learn more about our gift options.

  13. What makes speakeasy tours with Secret Fun Experiences special? At Secret Fun Experiences, we strive to deliver more than just tours. We offer immersive experiences that transport you back to the Roaring 20s, combining captivating narratives, historic landmarks, and the best of LA's speakeasies. Our passion lies in revealing the city's best-kept secrets and creating unforgettable memories for our guests.

  14. How can I book a speakeasy tour with Secret Fun Experiences? Visit our website to learn more about our offerings and book your experience. For any further queries or customized tour requirements, feel free to contact us.

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