The Daily Aztec
San Diego State's Independent Student Newspaper
5025 Apartments


April 4, 2012

Speak hard at Prohibition-era bar

More articles by »
Written by: Alyssa Zickenberg
Tags: ,

Share on TumblrShare via email

Prohibition emulates a 1920s speakeasy with its inconspicuous entrance, adventurous drinks and underground feel. | File Photo

Prohibition emulates a 1920s speakeasy with its inconspicuous entrance, adventurous drinks and underground feel. | File Photo

Hidden in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter, Prohibition Liquor Bar transports patrons back to the daring days of speakeasies and glamor a la Gatsby. One step into this “forbidden” locale channels the inner Al Capone or flapper fashionista in everyone for a night on the town, 1920s style.

Like any Prohibition-era speakeasy, Prohibition is hidden and not easily recognizable to the common passerby. The secret lounge is located underground with only one unsuspecting street-entrance door, labeled as a law firm office and hidden perfectly among the busy and bright contrast of downtown’s nightlife. Patrons must be on a guest list to enter. Then they need only ring Prohibition’s doorbell and wait for the hostess to greet them.

This is where the adventure begins.

A dark and narrow staircase leads guests underground to the polished basement-type saloon. The quaint subterranean room is adorned with dark, aged hardwood floors, deep-brown leather chairs and bar stools and black-and-white photos of Prohibition-era movie stars. The bar is dimly lit with candles and lamps, casting a deep-red hue across the room as jazz music flows and sets the mood. Within minutes, it’s easy for patrons to forget their placement in time.

Ordering a drink at Prohibition is a highlight of the experience. The man behind the bar is more mixologist than bartender, handcrafting drinks to each guest’s desire. Savoring a smooth and frothy South Side lemon martini flavored with freshly peeled lemon on the rim and just the right hint of mint will make anyone thankful legal prohibition no longer exists. The bar’s drink menu boasts a selection of unique and adventurous mixtures not likely found in other bars. Cocktails cost around $12 but are worth it for their flavor and attention to detail.

Prohibition is open every Wednesday through Saturday from 7 p.m. until 2 a.m. The bar is mellow on Wednesdays as a disc jockey spins old vinyl records while groups of two or three quietly talk among candlelight and sip martinis. It’s ideal for a date night. Friday and Saturday nights, however, turn up the tempo in the bar with a live jazz band and dancing. The bar can be packed with about 60 people, all drinking and swinging to the music. According to the hostess, these are the best nights to experience Prohibition in action.

Exclusivity and sophistication is at the heart of Prohibition, which strictly enforces the dress code, elusiveness and guest propriety. Find the guest list on Prohibition’s website at

Facebook Comments

About the Author

Alyssa Zickenberg


Café Madeleine’s charm graces SD with sweet joie de vivre Parisians could admire. | Paige Nelson, staff photographer

Taste a piece of Paris at local café

A sugary sweet mood is never quite complete without a trip to an adorable corner café. Those who have traveled to Europe know nothing compares to relaxing at a quaint corner café with a tiny cup of espresso and a chocolate cr...
by Ani Araya


Babys whips up drinkable desserts

No one ever loses that sweet tooth. Whether it’s taking candy from a baby or buying an extra package of M&M’s at the East Commons Aztec Market, everyone loves indulging those sweet, sugary cravings.
by Beth Elderkin


Redwing serves sport with a twist

North Park’s 30th Street is home to many unique bars, dives and restaurants. However, Redwing Bar & Grill may be one of the most interesting.
by Randy Wilde



Partiers score late-night weenies

Among San Diego’s popular crazes, street food proves to be a quick, inexpensive and delicious alternative to sit-down restaurants and fast food joints alike.
by Brittany Fasano


West Coast bites into Big Apple

West Coast Tavern is nestled in the heart of North Park, within the original lobby of the Birch North Park Theatre.
by Antonio Zaragoza


One Comment

  1. reclaimed wood dining tables

    Beautiful Collection! I love the industrial lighting. Thanks for including us!

Leave a Reply