“Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water.” ~ W.C. Fields
For cocktail enthusiasts around the country, December 5 is nearly as important a date on the calendar as Dec. 25 or Dec. 31. Created by Portland bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler, Repeal Day is celebrated every Dec. 5 to honor the repeal of the 18th Amendment in 1933, which ended 13 years of Prohibition.
The national celebration has grown in popularity every year, and bars across Los Angeles are featuring drink specials and events to commemorate the 86th anniversary of Repeal. As President Franklin D. Roosevelt said at the end of Prohibition: “What America needs now is a drink.”
NOTE: all Repeal Day events listed take place on Thursday, Dec. 5 unless otherwise noted.
Pouring With Heart
Formerly known as 213 Hospitality, Pouring With Heart owns and operates bars in LA, San Diego, Austin and Denver.
In celebration of Repeal Day, Seven Grand (515 W 7th St #200, Los Angeles 90014) is serving a special $10 menu from 8-11pm featuring Old Forester Old Fashioneds, Whiskey Sours, Manhattans, Sazeracs, and Mint Juleps. There's also a promotional whiskey sampling during the Repeal Day party. Seven Grand is open at 3pm daily.
COLE'S FRENCH DIP
The oldest public house in LA, the historic Red Car Bar at Cole's French Dip (118 E 6th St, Los Angeles 90014) will feature Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey in Prohibition era cocktails priced at $10 each. Doors at 4pm.
The NoMad Los Angeles
Located in the heart of Downtown LA, The NoMad (649 S Olive St, Los Angeles, CA 90014) is hosting an afternoon soiree in the lobby level Coffee Bar from 2-5pm. Light bites provided, Old Forester cocktails will be available for purchase.
The brainchild of Josh Goldman and Richie Lopez, Yapa in Little Tokyo (236 S Los Angeles St, Los Angeles 90012) is celebrating Repeal Day with a $5 Petit Punch and $8 Prohibition era cocktails from 6pm – 2am at the bar:
- Coconut Cocktail (from the Coconut Grove at the Ambassador Hotel on Wilshire) - Gin, Sweet Vermouth, Dry Vermouth, Pineapple
- Brown Derby Cocktail (Billy Wilkerson’s Vendome Club on Sunset) - Bourbon, Grapefruit, Honey
- Hi-Ho Cocktail (Hi Ho Club, Hollywood & Highland) - Old Tom Gin, White Port, Orange Bitters
- The Vendome Cocktail (Billy Wilkerson’s Vendome Club) - Gin, Dubonnet Rouge, Dry Vermouth
- The Original Tequila Sunrise (Agua Caliente Hotel, Tijuana) - Tequila, Lime, Grenadine, Cassis, Soda water
Located in Historic Filipinotown, Genever (3123 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles 90057) is offering $7 Fords Gin Bee’s Knees and $7 Old Forester Rye Old Fashioneds all night. Live jazz by the Tim Fenton Duo from 8-10pm. Guests wearing 1930s inspired attire will get 10% off their checks!
A popular spot for Los Feliz locals and cocktail aficionados, Big Bar (1929 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles 90027) is celebrating Repeal Day all day by serving Manhattans and Old Fashioneds with Redemption Rye whiskey for the friendly neighborhood price of $12.
Melrose Umbrella Co.
Though it's currently transformed into the holiday-themed Miracle On Melrose, the warm and distinctive interior of Melrose Umbrella Co. (7465 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles 90046) features 13 umbrellas hanging on a wall, representing the dry years of Prohibition and the many “wet” days that followed the ratification of the 21st Amendment.
Get “wet” under the Umbrella on Repeal Day with $5 Old Fashioneds from 5-10pm. Pro tip: the $5 special is available all night if you’re wearing a Santa hat!
Exercise your right to imbibe at Ronan (7315 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles 90046), which is offering $9 Negronis and French 75s all night to pair with their superb Neapolitan-style pizzas. Pro tip: Don't sleep on the sea bass zarandeado, served "banchan style."
Named after the year that Prohibition was repealed, 1933 Group is renowned for stunning interior design and restoration of historic spaces, including Bigfoot Lodge, Bigfoot West, The Formosa Cafe, Harlowe, Highland Park Bowl, La Cuevita, Oldfield’s Liquor Room, Sassafras Saloon and Thirsty Crow.
Located in North Hollywood, Idle Hour (4824 Vineland Ave, Los Angeles 91601) is offering an Old Fashioned special with Old Forester, specialty Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style Bourbon, and bourbon sampling. The Repeal Day specials are available 6-8pm.
Townhouse & The Del Monte
Located on Windward Avenue just steps from Venice Beach, the historic Townhouse and The Del Monte (52 Windward Ave, Venice 90291) opened as Menotti’s in 1915. The bar became a “grocery store” during the Prohibition era, while downstairs The Del Monte became a hub for rum runners. After the repeal of Prohibition, the above-ground bar re-opened and boasted regular patrons like Charlie Chaplin and Venice resident Jim Morrison of The Doors. Today, both floors serve craft cocktails and The Del Monte features a variety of live performances, from bands and DJs to comedy and burlesque.
The Townhouse 104-Year Anniversary + Repeal Day Celebration features complimentary stew & pie at 6pm, complimentary welcome punch until 9pm (or they run out) and music all night. Listen for the bell to ring at the bar and enjoy $5 Old Fashioneds for one hour! No cover for the Repeal Day Celebration.
The Other Door
At The Other Door (10437 Burbank Blvd, North Hollywood 91601), enjoy your choice of a classic cocktail for a 1933 price: "Bathtub" Martini or Manhattan for 35 cents! Or splurge on the "expensive" stuff - Corpse Reviver or Rum Daisy for 50 cents. Champagne splits for $1 if you're dressed in 1920s attire. Available starting at 8pm, limit one discounted drink per person. If you're staying "dry," there's Nitro Cold Brew Coffee and Ginger Kombucha on tap.