The Varnish
Hidden speakeasy serves craft cocktails
Bar · Downtown · $$$
The Zagat Review
“Service is incredible” at this “beautiful” , “too-cool-for-school” Downtown speakeasy hidden behind a “secret door” at the back of Cole’s restaurant; the bartenders will “let you sample tons of liquor” then “make a drink depending on your poison” , and though the craft cocktails “aren’t cheap” , they’re “worth every penny” , especially because of the “giant ice cubes” – a sure sign you’re in a temple of mixology.
hours Open Today · 7:00 PM - 2:00 AM
7:00 PM - 2:00 AM
7:00 PM - 2:00 AM
7:00 PM - 2:00 AM
7:00 PM - 2:00 AM
7:00 PM - 2:00 AM
7:00 PM - 2:00 AM
7:00 PM - 2:00 AM
location 118 East 6th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014, USA phone +1 213-265-7089 website directions Get Directions
Known For
Great cocktails
People watching
Great cocktails
Zagat Mentions of The Varnish
Google Reviews
This place is cool. I’m an avid searcher of the best sazerac, and while it was good (opted for Congnac instead of rye as this is the original spirit), I told the bartender I was introduced to a cocktail called a Toronto, and asked him if he could cook something up. Boldly they put, “bartenders choice” on their cocktail menu, proclaiming, proudly, their bartenders ‘know’, they are experienced. The cocktails I had after that were all expertly crafted. But why this really stands out is when you can take skill and combine it with ingenuity. That’s what The Varnish accomplishes and its why I wrote this review. It’s also why you should go to. Plus, the interior is the most authentic speakeasy I’ve ever seen, although I’ve yet to go to bourbon and branch in Sf.
Colin Johnson · May 30, 2018
Drinks are fantastic. Ordered the bartender's choice and the waiter was open to getting to know the kind of drinks I like to make one suitable for my taste palette. Reason for 4 stars: Wait time was quite long to get a table. After we ordered drinks, it took over 10 minutes to get them to our table.Amazing cocktails, great service, old-school vibe. Can't beat it. Grab a Kentucky Colonel (if you're a bourbon fan).
lee luna · December 14, 2017
I order Bartender's Choice, every time, and I have never been disappointed. Great cocktails, worth the price.
Amanda Charles · June 4, 2018