This is the grown-up version — or maybe the original template — of every wood-paneled basement rec room you ever drank in. It’s all there: the low ceiling, the red lights in the brass sconces, the mirrored wall behind the bar, plus some olde-tyme movie-star photos for atmosphere. But there the resemblances stop: This bar has codes for dress and behavior, the wood on the walls is real, and the Bombay Sapphire Gin doesn’t even make the top shelf. The bar prides itself on innovation, but isn’t above classics like the Deauville (brandy, applejack, and Cointreau). Guest-list entry only (except Wednesdays); reserve online.

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That's my review.

To further explain, I might add that I love the 1930's. No, not for the National Socialists, and the concentration camps, and the despair of the Great Depression.

Rather for cool stuff like the golden age of radio, great building projects such as the Golden Gate Bridge and the Empire State Building, and streamlined locomotive trains.

Oh, yeah, and the romance of Prohibition and the Gangsters and the FBI and all that...

So I gets this e-mail from David Patrone, a crooner who might think of himself as being most comfortable in the 1950's, but who would also fit quite well in the 1930's. Patrone says he's gonna be at this "speakeasy" downtown in the Gaslamp, a place called Prohibition SD.

A little investigation through my contacts on the street, and I was able to get the exact location (which, out of necessity, differs from the false address above -- it ain't exactly 560 Fifth) and more importantly, the password to gain entry to this underground juice joint.

Why don't I just give the password and location here? Well, you might be a G-man, so no way am I saying anything. Suffice to say, you can contact Vinnie through the website, and after about 24 hours, time enough for a background check, you might be provided with the the current password.

So last Friday, I combed some Murray's Pomade through my hair with difficulty (jeepers you need lots of hot water to slick yer hair back with that stuff, and then it stays in forever), jumped in a suit and tie and threw on my best lid, a grey felt fedora. With my date and a couple friends, we motored downtown to the Gaslamp.

The place was classy without being too swanky. For what was formerly a morgue, they dressed the place up real nice, with wood paneling, movie star photographs, and dim red lighting.

Patrone and his band were in top form. The drinks went down smooth, and the wallet survived surgery and is recovering quite well.

To repeat my review:


Cool place. We went Friday night for David Patrone, too. He'll be there again this Friday night, June 5th. We never would have found it if we didn't know exactly what we were looking for. Here's their website:

Even if anyone figures out where to knock (for instance, a couple of guys dining outside on the sidewalk nearby asked us "what is that place? People keep going in there!") if they don't know the password they are turned away.

What password? I don't know what the hell you guys are talking about...

This place doesn't exist. It's a fairytale.

Officer, I was at home with my mother, reading CityBeat. I swear it's true!

Prohibition was mostly the 1920s not the 1930s. It ended in 1933

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