Friday, August 26, 2011

Speakeasy Seventy 7 Opens in Culver City

Down a quiet alley in Culver City the red neon cocktail sign is illuminated.  A door is guarded by a gentleman who asks you for the password of the day to gain entry.  An illicit gambling den? A house of ill repute? No, Seventy 7 is the latest cocktail bar to open in the style of the neo-speakeasy.  The small space is decorated in 1920s style and the waitresses look like they could begin dancing the Charleston at any moment.

You can't recognize the space as the former home of Japanese diner Tokyo 77 as the newly installed decor erases all trace of the past to transport customers back to the dark ages of Prohibition when liquor could not be openly served.  The bar itself has an excellent collection of spirits including Whistle Pig Rye, Yamazaki Whisky from Japan, and Hendrick's, Plymouth and Beefeater gins.

Photo courtesy of Seventy 7
The cocktail menu has eight selections, all on the sweet side.  I recommend asking for a classic like the Sazerac I saw several gentlemen ordering if you do not require a healthy dose of sweetness in your beverage. I wish the management had sufficient confidence in their customers to offer a menu that didn't have to offer a Smortini with vanilla schnapps and godiva chocolate liqueur.  If the clientele has made the effort to dress up (there is dress code, so no jeans, t-shirts, athletic shoes or ball caps) and find there way down the darkened alley to this gin joint, odds are they are willing to try something new.

The space is beautiful and its a cool vibe, so I'd go back and get an Old Fashioned or Manhattan and enjoy the Flapper Era ambiance.  It feels a world away from Culver City.

Seventy 7: 3843 Main Street, Culver City, CA.  Follow them on twitter for the daily password: @seventy7la

Seventy 7 Cocktail Menu:

Peter Piper ($14)
Hendrick's Gin, fresh dill, cucumber, pickle juice and creme fraiche garnished with cucumber and a baby gerkin pickle

East LA Cafe ($13)
Rum Chata, Pearl Coconut Vodka, rhubarb bitters sprinkled with cinnamon

Moulin Rouge ($15)
Lucid Absinthe, Plymouth Gin, muddled strawberries, passion fruit puree, simple syrup

Blind Pig ($12)
Shot of Pig's Nose 5 Year Old Blended Scotch Whiskey and a beer

Velvet Underground ($12)
Champagne, Velvet Falernum, Creme de Violette

Jack and the Beanstalk ($14)
Gentleman Jack, Carpano Antica Vermouth, muddled watermelon, vanilla bean syrup

Smortini ($15)
Wodka Vodka, vanilla schnapps, Godiva chocolate liqueur, graham cracker crust and toasted baby marshmallows

Plaid Bikini ($13)
Michael Collins Irish Whiskey, Pages Elderflower syrup, Yellow Chartreuse, grapefruit juice, old time bitters


  1. I'm not sure how I feel about these neo-speakeasys. I was excited to have a new classy place in the neighborhood, but a neon cocktail sign, a twitter account... at this point, either make a speakeasy or don't. Don't make a public bar that pretends to be a speakeasy. It's just corny. On the other hand, if the drinks, clientele, and space are good - that stuff won't matter.

  2. like the Sazerac. (period) ... find *their* way... *it's* a cool vibe...