During Prohibition, a grocery store on the upper level was a front for a basement-level speakeasy, called Menotti’s Buffet. Today, you can order cocktails upstairs at Townhouse or in the basement at Del Monte Speakeasy.
As you might imagine, it wasn’t easy to get into Menotti’s Buffet during Prohibition -- and I mean that in many senses of the word. First, you had to know that the speakeasy even existed there in the basement of a Venice, California, grocery store. Plus, you also had to know the bartender. And then there was the part about actually getting down to where the alcohol was served. That required going through a trapdoor and into a tiny two-person, rope-operated dumbwaiter.
But in its 100 years, this bar -- the oldest bar in Venice, and one of the oldest in the greater Los Angeles area -- has always kept the party going.... Read More →
The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.
Lauren Walser is the Los Angeles-based Field Editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys writing and thinking about history, art, architecture, and public space.