Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween Is Frightfully Fun in Downtown LA

Casey's Irish Pub
You may have heard that a holiday approaches.  So before you get your costume and drink on, it pays to know where you can enjoy the appropriate spooky ambiance, if that is the vibe you seek.  Yes, Halloween is on Monday night and to celebrate the sacred evening and share the spirit of competition, eight of the 213 Group's bars in Downtown LA are competing as to who can create the ultimate Halloween experience.  On Tuesday night I set out with illustrious panel of judges who visited all eight in a single evening to determine which bar could generate the most zombie spirit.  We were picked off one by one by creatures of the night and only a few of us including ThirstyinLA lived to tell the tale.  If you see my fellow judge FoodGPS, watch out, he may be after your brains.

Each establishment was given the same amount of money to work with, which was certainly a bigger challenge for Casey's as it is the largest space including an outdoor patio, than for several of the smaller sized establishments such as Cana Rum Bar.  Each bar was challenged to decorate their space in their chosen theme, to include zombies wherever possible, to have the employees dress up in theme and to offer a punch for only $5 through Monday evening.

Dexter's Kill Room
The winning bar will not be revealed until Monday night, but there is some serious coin on the line as 213 impresario Cedd Moses has decreed that the winning bar will get to keep the profits from this Saturday night.  Not only that but one lucky undead will receive airfare anywhere in the U.S.  Zombies in Hawaii anyone?  Who will the Most Valuable Zombie be?

The most disturbing decor of the evening was certainly at Tony's Saloon in the Arts District.  Customers can sip on Etorphine Vodka Chloride punch while they try and escape the plastic wrap.  You can struggle but you will not be able to free yourself as the bar has transformed itself into one of Dexter's kill rooms from the Showtime series Dexter. The punch is named after the drug that Dexter injects into his victims to immobilize and incapacitate them.  The blood spattered plastic wrapped environment is completely transformative.  It felt like a different establishment.  I escaped via the pizza establishment, but barely.

Smoke billowing from an unseen fog machine welcomed us to the underground lair of Casey's Irish Pub.  Cobwebs galore covered the entire bar and the zombified bartenders included Amy Winehouse.  Both a Jameson and a glass of their Bloody Zombie Punch will likely be needed to calm you down as the hungry, I mean helpful, zombie staff surrounds you.

Some of the best punch you can find in downtown, any night of the year, is at Cana Rum Bar.  Allan Katz's Fiending Frenzy was absolutely delicious and beautifully presented, served out of a crystal punch bowl.  The voodoo threatens to put a hex on all who enter but the punch itself may be the antidote to the curse.

Fiending Frenzy at Cana

Sympathy For The Devil, the smoke fizzing punch at Broadway Bar was eye catching, as were the wild paintings on the wall, reminiscent of the Haunted Mansion.  Several customers there could have been in the running for the Most Valuable Zombie (I'm thinking of Lorenzo and Hello Kitty), if only they surrendered and joined the 213 Empire.

Sympathy for the Devil (Broadway Bar)
Golden Gopher unnerved us all.  The theme of zombified fairy tale characters was disturbing to say the least.  Whether it was Pinocchio was a bloody long nose or Snow White oozing flesh, this felt like a sick John Waters and David Lynch collaboration.

The Undead Horde packs a punch at Seven Grand.  The staff in tartan kilts, zombie makeup and not much else were not shy about butting their booze where their rotting flesh is. The Horde is made with Devil's Cut Boubon and may be their way of separating you from your brain.  The corpses in bodybags hanging from the balcony outside complete the terrifying experience.

Cole's Red Car Bar is serving the Dead Rose Punch, which may involve a dead rose petal on top, to seal your doom, while at Las Perlas, Jalisco Punch is on tap.  The Day of the Dead lasts all weekend long there as the tasty Tequila based cocktail works its way through your bloodstream.

You don't have to wait until Monday night to experience this fright fest.  Just mosey on downtown, put on your costume and enjoy.  But remember to always have a getaway plan.  You never know when the zombies will strike and the smell of the punch and brains may lead them right to you.

Picture Gallery below; addresses at the bottom:

Cole's Red Car Bar
Las Perlas

Jalisco Punch (Las Perlas)
Golden Gopher
Seven Grand
Tony's Saloon: 2017 E. Seventh St., DTLA.  Phone: (213) 622-5523
Casey's Irish Pub: 613 S. Grand Avenue, DTLA.  Phone: (213) 629-2353
Cana Rum Bar: 714 W. Olympic Blvd, STLA.  Phone: (213) 745-7090
Broadway Bar: 830 S. Broadway, DTLA.  Phone: (213) 614-9909
Golden Gopher: 417 W. 8th Street, DTLA.  Phone: (213) 614-8001
Seven Grand: 515 W. Seventh St, 2nd Floor, DTLA.  Phone: (213) 614-0736
Cole's Red Car Bar:118 E. 6th Street, DTLA.  Phone: (213) 622-4090
Las Perlas: 107 E. 6th St., DTLA.  Phone: (213) 988-8355


  1. What a cool event. Dexter kill room is a great idea.

  2. The Dexter Kill Room was so creative. Great idea. Utterly surprising and spooky. Showed no cobwebs are needed for a Halloween scare.