Spirit Guide: Plex Lowery and the Unheard of Cocktail

March 27th, 2012 — 10:00am

Recently I went into a bar at a time when it was just picking up momentum for the evening, and the bartender was getting a little bit slammed. Even though she was handling it well, when she got around to me I just ordered a beer. Truthfully I was more in a mood for cocktail, but I had some time on my hands, and so I decided to wait until she had little more time and then order one. She smiled gratefully and got me a pilsner, only to turn around to another customer that had just sat down and already had an air of impatience about him. When she asked what she could do for him, he insisted on having her go down the list of every rye and bourbon she had, visibly scoffing at most of them, and then offhandedly asked for a cocktail that I had never heard of. Apparently neither had she, and so when she asked him about it and started to look it up, he recoiled in his chair in horror– completely flummoxed how someone couldn’t possibly know said cocktail and be in the bartending world. When I asked him about the drink, he said that he “had recently had it at a new bar on the east coast that was their own creation and it was wonderful and it was blogged about on the premier cocktail site and blah blah blah…” *commence eye rolling*

There are literally hundreds upon thousands of cocktail recipes, variations, nicknames, mutations & calls in the world of spirits, and as a bartender it can sometimes be quite a daunting task to rifle through your mental rolodex at a moments notice to bring up that obscure drink that no one in North America has ordered since 1948, or one that someone thinks everyone should know about because it is simply “divine!” and therefore deserves to be everywhere. I am not saying that bartenders should not be up on their craft– they should be, just like anyone providing a service. But sometimes it is a little much to expect every ‘tender of every bar to immediately know what you are talking about. If the bartender doesn’t know offhand, have a little patience and wait until he or she can look it up–which shouldn’t be too hard in this age of instant gratification via iphones and such–or better yet, know what you’re in the mood for and give the bartender some perimeters…more than likely you will be pleasantly surprised with what they lay in front of you.

Plex Lowery
Tony’s Saloon
General Manager

Music Monday: Introducing Downtown/Union, performing live at Casey’s Irish Pub on Fridays in April

March 26th, 2012 — 5:09pm

LA’s indie-driven rock band, Downtown/Union, has been a regular fixture in local music scene since 2006. Although the band has been through many incarnations, from a stripped down two-piece to a bombastic seven member rock n’ roll gang, principle song writers, B. Bory and Jeff Electric, have always managed to consistently churn out catchy, high powered, heartfelt songs. This time around, the band has solidified its ranks by adding new permanent members, bass guitarist, Andy Bartlett, and veteran guitar wielder, John Klein, to the lineup, giving them a renewed sense of purpose, energy, and focus; not to mention a whole new batch of tunes.

With the recent release of their new EP, Deal Gone Wrong, Downtown/Union once again show their uncanny ability to craft smart, memorable songs, complete with bouncy, melodic bass lines, tasteful guitar licks, and group sing-a-long choruses.

For fans of rock n’ roll with a lot of heart and little pretense, Downtown/Union will fill the bill like black coffee and a hot piece of pie.

You can catch them every Friday at Casey’s in Downtown LA in April.

Listen to their music at:

-Dave Freeman
Music Director

What We’re Reading: The Top 20 Cocktail Books, Downtown’s Hot Broadway Makeover

March 25th, 2012 — 7:09pm

The Top 20 Cocktail Books – CLASS Magazine
How many of these bad boys (and yes, there are no girls here) have you read? We had a straw poll among the CLASS staff for the ‘must-haves’ that your bookshelves should be groaning under the weight of – and figured that you might be interested in the list we came up with. They’re listed in order of their publication date. Let us know what you think.

1. How to Mix Drinks Or the Bon Vivant’s Companion (1862) by Jerry Thomas
The original and arguably the best, the Professor laid it all down for us to rediscover, was a founding father of flair bartending, a blinged-up showman who set the benchmark for theatricality, and gave us the basis for a whole industry, from the Blue Blazer to RTDs. Read More

Downtown’s Hot Broadway Makeover – The Hollywood Reporter
Johnny Depp loves it, The Artist glorified it, hip hotel chain Ace just bet big on it. Now the city center’s renaissance finally hits one of L.A.’s most fabled streets.

After decades of neglect, the curtain is rising again on downtown L.A.’s Broadway, one of the city’s most picturesque shooting locations. Once lined with 34 theaters — and boasting the largest concentration of such intact venues in the U.S., with a dozen — the nine-block stretch from First Street to Olympic Boulevard is beginning to play out its next act. View Magazine Spread

Our very own Broadway Bar is in the center of all the Bringing Back Broadway action, of course. Have a drink with us and enjoy the new Broadway.

Broadway Bar
830 South Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90014