Happy Repeal Day: Drink Up at the Longest Continuously Running Bar in L.A.

Menotti's opened in 1915. / Courtesy of Townhouse

Menotti’s opened in 1915. / Courtesy of Townhouse

Farewell to the 18th Amendment. Seventy-nine years ago today, on Dec. 5, booze in the United States flowed freely again. Celebrate the repeal of Prohibition at the longest continuously running bar in Los Angeles. “We never technically closed during Prohibition,” General Manager and Beverage Director Brandon Ristaino says, referring to Townhouse and the Del Monte Speakeasy below it, on Windward Ave. in Venice.

Menotti’s Buffet (now Townhouse) opened for business in 1915, and when Prohibition began, owner Cesar Menotti turned his downstairs into a grocery store — and pop-up speakeasy. Small Canadian boats smuggled whiskey and rum from the Abbot Kinney Pier through tunnels that ran under Venice Beach to his basement. In a back room a cemented tunnel entrance supposedly leads to downtown’s King Eddy Saloon (which will close on Dec. 16 to change ownership).

In 1972, Ronald and Annie Bennett bought the building, now named Grady’s Town House, and shortened the name to Townhouse. …

Read full article at LA Weekly

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