The Queensberry is a new speakeasy in the former Honeycut space in downtown L.A. I won’t spoil the fun of the secret entrance. Just know that once you find the door, you descend down a steep, dark staircase and into a bunker with dueling personalities: One room is where you take a date for a quiet postdinner drink; the back area, called the Copa Room, is a dance party.
The more refined first space is bedazzled with gold-trim mirrored ceilings, black-and-gold patterned wallpaper, black-and-gold carpet and black tufted booths. The vibe is luxe and so is the cocktail list, though beverage director Scott Cushman prefers they skew tiki once in a while. There’s the Revolver, an eye-widening concoction of rye, house-made coffee liquor and orange bitters. And you can ask for a tableside old-fashioned, which involves your choice of whiskey (the bar boasts a single bottle from each of the 50 states) and wood. Your bartender will use a tiny smoking gun and place your drink in a glass box full of smoke before handing it over. And your diamond-shaped ice cube will be stamped with either the bar’s logo or an outline of Cushman’s face.
In the Copa Room, you’ll find a disco tile dance floor lit up beneath your feet. On this side of the bar there’s a DJ and cocktails on draft to keep the line moving and the dance floor full. You can order each drink as a single cocktail or as part of a flight, with libations like the Humuhumunukunukuapua’a, made with gin, pineapple, almond and bitters.
The front room turns into a whiskey tasting bar after 10:30 p.m. Reservations are required for booths in both rooms.
819 S. Flower St., Los Angeles, circa93.com/the-queensberry