As y’all know, I make no secret of my affection for alcohol. (Vodka, specifically.) So you can only imagine how excited I was to be granted exclusive entry into a REAL speakeasy, and a HOLLYWOOD speakeasy to boot. (If you’re so inclined, open the link below in another window and let the music set the mood.)
It’s hidden like a buried treasure in the Stella Adler LA Theatre building, where awesome pal Devon treated me to a play recently (Hello, by Stefan Marks). I’ve never even been in the building, let alone their intimate theatre space, and I was blown away by the performances, as per usual in LA where there are simply too many uber-talented people for them all to be famous.
Wedged between the wax museums, gazing down at the sidewalk stars and rising above the very common ground of an infamous intersection (Hollywood & Highland), Stella Adler LA gets lost in the crowd. I couldn’t see their sign when I was directly beneath it, and walked right by.
But let’s get back to that SPEAKEASY, shall we? Walk with me. Up the marble staircase, down a hallway with a gently sloping floor, past a life-size picture of a very young Joan Crawford which stands EXACTLY where she was standing when the picture was taken (how cool is that?!):
Behind a nondescript door that could very easily open to a closet or coat room, opened with a key that only a select group of people (including awesome pal Devon) possess, is a box-shaped shrine to the glorious excess of the roaring twenties. (It can be reserved for events. Call for details.)
All the people on the walls drank there, and there are some very famous names. Sadly, I can’t remember any of them. (No, not because I had already helped myself at the bar. Because I was OVEREXCITED. And this is why I would be a useless witness to a crime.) For some reason, I do remember this guy, but I bet most of you don’t:
BEST PART — a bookcase that spins around so patrons could escape up to the roof and down the fire escape if the po po showed up. (In my mind, wearing Keystone cops hats, brandishing night sticks and twirling handlebar mustaches.)
Almost as cool as the labyrinth of tunnels under the Green Mill in Chicago, which Al Capone used to distribute banned booze to a thirsty city. But that’s a story for another day. Until then, speakeasy, my friends, and drink hard.