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14633 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
When you’re thirsty in this heat, you’re pretty gosh-darn thirsty. So, let’s make sure you stay properly hydrated by introducing you to Tunnel Bar, a 70s throwback of a cocktail lounge that opened earlier this summer in Downtown Sherman Oaks.
First, you’ll have to find the secret entrance – just forget everything your mother ever taught you and walk down a dark back alley behind Tipple & Brine on Ventura in search of a dim blue light. Once you’re in, take a moment to appreciate the Big Apple ambiance: the arched brick bar replicates the look of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, there’s a subway service elevator, and walls are covered with framed photos of New York rockers like Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Johnny Ramon and Patti Smith.
Of course, any hidden bar is sure to have a hint of a speakeasy vibe and while there are tons of Edison lightbulbs and vintage decorative accents, the red leather banquettes and leather-covered bar stools create more of a forgotten glam rock hangout vibe, played up by a soundtrack of 70s rock and a slightly raw and gritty attitude. Think of Max’s Kansas City, the legendary rock club your parents told/warned you about.
But you’re thirsty, we get it. We recommend ordering a drink from a cocktail list created by barmen from hotspots like Varnish and Honeycut. Divided into four-parts, you can order reimagined classics, celebratory drinks, originals and punches. There’s the Elder Fashioned, a gin-and-citrus based take on an Old Fashioned that’s topped off with St. Germain or the Pacific Profiteer, a blend of pisco, absinthe and nutmeg.
To truly honor the retro punk vibe, order a drink that some may think has gone out-of-fashion, like a Hurricane jazzed up with passion fruit puree and 3 types of rum, or a two-to-six person bowl of Fish House Punch, a brain-scrambling mix of cognac, rum, crème peche, lemon and seltzer that’s served over a giant block of ice.
It’s the type of drink and the type of place that makes you feel like a legend, with a little help from the legends on the walls.
By Arielle Sachar