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Boardwalk Empire In LA: The Top Speakeasy-Style Hangouts

2011-02-22-marpoplogoweb1.jpg     Mar Yvette
First Posted: 11/02/11 01:51 PM ET Updated: 11/02/11 01:57 PM ET

Story comes courtesy of Marpop.

By Mar Yvette

With the second season of HBO's "Boardwalk Empire" in full swing, I'm having a serious case of nostalgia. Never mind the crooked politicians and ultra-violent bootlegging crime bosses of Prohibition-era Atlantic City. I'm talking about the glitz and glamour of a time when fashion was front and center for men and women alike, and going out for a drink, or even a steak, was dangerously exciting. And I'm not the only one. Look around and you'll notice the growing trend of 20s- and 30s-style restaurants, bars and entertainment around LA. Inspired by the days of backdoor speakeasies, snazzy-jazzy tunes and burlesque babes, here are 10 places--along with a list of local bands and entertainers--that let you live it up in true Boardwalk Empire style.

Del Monte Speakeasy - Venice Beach
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Del Monte Speakeasy - Venice Beach

Speakeasy is a word thrown around these days like some boozy floozy, but there's no arguing that the Del Monte in Venice can rightfully lay claim to the term. Located in the basement of LA's second oldest operating bar (Townhouse, which originally opened as Menotti's in 1915), this place is truly part of a boardwalk empire. Back in the day, the speakeasy was not only an illegal watering hole, but it also functioned as a main choke point for liquor smuggling via the Abott Kinney Pier, which had a number of connected underground caves and catacombs. The pier eventually burned down and the tunnels have since been cemented shut, but the original staircase is still in tact. The history alone makes Del Monte worth a visit, but now that owner Louie Ryan has reopened the space, he's staying true to its history with a cool vibe, controlled access, a slew of cocktails (both new and reimagined) from LA bar hero Brandon Ristaino and weekly live entertainment including Red Light Wednesdays featuring burlesque performers.

Photo by Mar Yvette