The Urban Girl Squad led us in a night of prohibition style drinking. From the walking tour through the basement of an original speakeasy to the shots of homemade absinthe, it was like stepping into the middle of a gangster squad film.
Our night started with a tour of the Museum of the Ammerican Gangster. We donned our hard hats and headed down to the basement, where gangsters of the prohibition era hid their millions in gold in safes and rigged tunnels with dynamite for a quick escape. The speakeasy has a rich history. Aside from being a hide out for top crime figures, it is said that Frank Sinatra once worked as a waiter there and John Coltrane played with his live jazz band there.
In the most recent case of, ‘who knew?’ last Monday, the State Liqour Authority requested that Gin Palace turn off its gin and tonic tap due to its illegality.
According to a Prohibition-era law (really?), serving cocktails from one bottle into another is against the law, which is bad news for plenty of other lounges around the city that offer cocktails on tap.
Gin Palace owner, Ravi DeRossi doesn’t think what they were doing was illegal and plans to fight the ruling at a July 20th hearing.
Can you believe it's been 78 years since prohibition was repealed? From October 29, 1919 to December 5, 1933, "intoxicating liquors" were banned. After 14 years of speakeasies, moonshine and increased organized crime, Congress decided, "Crap. This was a bad idea," and repealed the consitutional ammendent. Herein, 'Repeal Day' was born. So what better way to celebrate than to go bottoms up?
In remembrance of this historical moment, Vander Bar is hosting the official 'Repeal Day' party. There will be drink specials all day as well as a happy hour from 3-6pm. $5 Select Beer & Appetizers. BOGO Half Off All Bottles of Wine all day! And of course, $10 Bathtub Punch, Moonshine Martinis & Volstead Manhattans. Get your Charleston ready.
Happy Repeal Day!
As mentioned in past articles, Broward County is experiencing a renaissance when it comes to dining options. While you can still munch away at patty melts at the numerous diners that are comparatively absent just south of County Line Road and throw back a Budweiser at one of countless dive bars, more sophisticated dining and drinking options have begun to sprout up rivaling those found in South Beach sans the sub-par service and huge price tags. SAIA, at the B Ocean Hotel on Fort Lauderdale Beach, previously noted as a contender in Fort Lauderdale’s emerging fine dining scene for its impeccable interpretations of Asian-inspired seafood dishes and sushi (read review here), has just introduced a new cocktail menu this past weekend that is one of the most well thought-out and innovative that I’ve seen in quite some time - more on par with mixologists’ creations found in New York City than anything previously sipped in South Florida.
"I think this would be a good time for a beer;" that's what Roosevelt said 78 years ago when beer was legalized after 13 years of prohibition. Have wiser words ever been said? Where would this country be without it’s beer drinkers? St. Patrick’s day would have probably hosted “Most Illegal Activities Day.” Thankfully, beer is here to stay, and in most cases, so is your beer belly. Back then people blamed society's problems on alcohol, but we only blame it for our bloated stomachs. In honor of National Beer Day and spending all our money on Heinekens, Guinness, and Corona’s at the local bar, we have constructed an awesome “how-to” guide on hiding that beer gut.
April 7th is National Beer Day, and even though I don't need a special reason to drink, I will most definitely be crafting this into some sort of excuse come Friday morning. Unfortunately, many people have no idea that National Beer Day even exists, so for the uninformed: National Beer Day marks the date that one of our most hard-drinkin' presidents, Franklin D. Roosevelt, brought beer back into legality in the United States. That date was April 7th, 1933, a long 13 years after prohibition began. So Thursday night, get out to one of these bars, tilt your glasses upwards, and try to stay on your barstool.
On the search for more haunted locations to have a meal, try the Landmark Tavern. Located on 11th Avenue on 46th Street this eatery was built in 1868 by Patrick Henry Carley. Back than, it was an Irish Waterfront Saloon and there was no 12th Avenue. Mr. and Mrs. Carley designed their establishment as a new saloon on the first floor and a sensible home on the second and third floors. Prohibition forced them to turn the third floor into a speakeasy.
Keeping the old New York charm this restaurant and bar has also kept some long time guest. One is Hollywood tough guy, George Raft, who grew up in Hell’s Kitchen. George haunts the bar with a Confederate Civil War veteran. This soldier was knifed in a fight and stumbled to the second floor to die in a bathtub that’s still there today. Last, the third floor is wondered by an Irish immigrant girl who died in her bed.
This speakeasy-esque wine den doesn’t have a sign out front so look for the Prohibition Gothic façade of the 1920s warehouse. Step up to the big metal door and enter into The Secret Wine Shop. This is your own private tasting room where you can discover ambiguous wines by the glass or bottle for your personal satisfaction.
This safe haven is now open by appointment only but you’ll want to try it. The Secret Wine Shop is part wine tasting, part wine shop and part art gallery. Pull up a stool at the wooden table in the middle of the room and take a look at the ever changing menu with hard-to-find varieties of hand crafted California wines.