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This Vintage Speakeasy Hides Above a Swanky Melrose Coffee Shop

Take a look inside the new LA offshoot of NYC’s Bathtub Gin, which opens on December 7

A table of vintage glassware and old wallpaper in a new sunny restaurant.
Bathtub Gin.
Sydney Brown
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

There’s a new cocktail hideaway for those in the know, located just one story above Los Angeles’s famed Melrose retail strip. The brand new Bathtub Gin, already famous thanks to its New York City outpost, has now arrived on the West Coast with lots of drinks, plush seating, and the kind of hiding-in-plain-sight appeal that works for all the best Prohibition-style bars.

Bathtub Gin is the work of Dave Oz, who first brought the brand to Manhattan years ago, tucking the themed bar behind a daytime coffee shop in Chelsea in 2011. Now a decade on, this new Bathtub Gin hides upstairs from its own Stone Street Coffee at Melrose and Formosa, which opened in June.

For the LA outpost, Oz partnered with actor Joel David Moore (of Dodgeball fame) and Laura Parkening, who is on as a managing partner. Together, the group has turned the second story space into a mellow evening hangout for up to 75 people at a time, buoyed by plush seats, dark wood, and yes, at least one bathtub. The antiques, colorful wallpaper, and extensive couches and cabinets all give the feeling of a hidden salon, while the brass bar top, winding wooden stairwell, and walkway into the space are indeed reminiscent of low-key illegal bars that operated during Prohibition. There’s even a signless door for access, a password required for entry, and a strict no-photo policy inside.

Beyond the Tiffany lamps, hanging chandeliers, and wraparound outdoor balcony, expect a modular drinking experience with staff members clearing out the furniture some nights to make room for live entertainment, dancing, DJs, and even burlesque shows. Cocktails (including some that can be served sans alcohol) run $18 and span from plenty of gin and tonics to espresso martinis to cognac and rye sazerac twists; wines by the glass and bottle are also available, in addition to beer and non-alcoholic drinks. The menu is overseen by Brendan Bartley (who also oversees Bathtub Gin in New York City), while bar manager Leah Pupkin handles the day-to-day.

Bathtub Gin LA opens Tuesday, December 7 at 7174 Melrose Avenue. Reservations, funnily enough for a speakeasy, can be made via Resy.

Couches and stools stuffed in a vintage room for drinking.
The lounge-y drinking area.
A vintage striped couch and wooden bathtub in a new cocktail bar.
A clear cocktail held up by a white hand with a drapey backdrop.
A bartender pouring from a clear bottle at a new cocktail bar.
Leah Pupkin
A winding wooden floor at a new cocktail restaurant.
A graffiti’d door at a hidden upstairs cocktail bar.
The unassuming door.

Bathtub Gin LA

7174 Melrose Avenue, , CA 90046 (323) 433-7960 Visit Website

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