Party Earth Review Buried beneath the beautiful mansion/event space The Victorian, Basement Tavern is a casual speakeasy, so hidden that visitors would have to be profoundly lost to stumble upon it. In-the-know patrons proceed around back... ... read full review
2640 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Santa Monica / Westside, Los Angeles –
Buried beneath the beautiful mansion/event space The Victorian, Basement Tavern is a casual speakeasy, so hidden that visitors would have to be profoundly lost to stumble upon it.
In-the-know patrons proceed around back, through a wooden doorway, past an open kitchen, and finally down two flights of stairs before discovering a space that exudes an illicit vibe similar to partying in a friend’s basement in high school.
Must be a wealthy friend!
Wall-sized chalkboards, animal heads, and high-backed velvet king chairs decorate the main room, lit only by scant overhead chandeliers and tableside candles.
Early in the week, creative types kick back with Modern Fashioneds – an updated twist on the Old Fashioned made with blackberries and agave – or go really old school with a few belts of Bathtub Gin, while Happy Hour finds chill young professionals playing board games and enjoying $3 drink specials and half-price grub.
In distinctly non-vintage fashion, a Nintendo Wii in the back room attracts college kids later in the evening.
Live bands play almost nightly, with bluegrass on Wednesdays that perfectly complements the aura of the laid-back whiskey drinkers hanging by the bar. Come the weekends, however, the musicians crank up the party with high-energy classic rock that packs in the patrons from 10pm on.
Every night can be different at Basement Tavern, from mellow subterranean den to not-so-secret party space – and that’s exactly why folks keep dropping down for more.
Varies from cozy couples, college kids playing games, and whiskey-sipping hipsters early in the evening to jam band fans and trendier party types rocking to bluegrass and classic rock well into the night, early 20s to early 30s.
Live bands play everything from bluegrass to rock Tuesdays through Saturdays. Wii in the back “fishbowl” room. Various board games available on Sundays and Mondays.
Small menu of American comfort food and some more upscale items including flank steak, calamari, and brisket sandwiches. Happy Hour 5–8pm M–Sa and all night Su.
Small plates and entrées $10–$20. Beer $4–$10, wine $8–$12/glass or $32–$60/bottle, cocktails $10–$12.
Trendy hipster to upscale casual: parachute pants, button-downs, hoodies, ironic t-shirts, fitted jeans, flirty tops, flowy dresses, flats, heels.
Bluegrass Wednesdays for a fun and lively older crowd, or Thursdays through Saturdays for a young hotspot with high-energy live music.
Circle Bar (2926 Main Street) is a long-standing neighborhood staple that attracts a flirty young party crowd on the weekends.