The Queensberry: Good Times Runneth Over
Where Honeycut once ruled the cocktail game along Flower Street off of 8th, ending their run as a leading downtown hotspot on this last New Years Eve, with a chic, well-designed space left vacant, (retro dance floor and all) it was only a matter of time before someone special took up residence. Enter stage left: The Queensberry.
This dark, elusive watering hole is named after the 9th Marquess of Queensberry, John Sholto Douglas, the man who originated The Queensberry Rules which frame the fundamentals of modern boxing. Not to mention, this Scotsman also had a large part in ruining the career of Irish poet and playwright (and one of the biggest playboys of the late 19th century) Oscar Wilde. That’s a story for another time, but really, look it up. It’s brutal.
The newest project by Circa93 Group, the innovative team that brought nightlife favorites such as The Continental Club and The Association to DTLA’s streets, The Queensberry is tucked fifteen feet underground and is the first of their projects to boast a multi-dimensional, multi-room floor plan -- which is still complimented by that badass dancefloor. As a tight-knit team of innovative and hard-working individuals, Circa93’s family-oriented values and organization skills are the lifeblood of each project they tackle.
“With this company you’re definitely a part of a small family,” says Farah Casis, Partner and Special Events Director for Circa93. “It tends to be small in terms of, making sure that we’re all connected every single day, we talk every single day, we work alongside each other every single day.”
With The Queensberry bar room, you feel as if you’ve stumbled into an exclusive, members-only London-esque lounge where classic craft cocktails flow from the shaker tin of your bartenders device. Tipping its hat to the era in which Queensberry was at all prominent, an air of gentlemen’s fortune flows through the room along dark tufted leather and brass. The main lounge is also where you’ll find their holy grail, a back bar featuring an American Whiskey from every individual state in the United States. In The Queensberry’s dance room, however, a more red-blooded party vibe can come alive while DJs control the room around you. Imagine only making one stop on your night out and having two entirely unique experiences under one roof, that’s what The Queensberry has to offer -- cool conversation with a Manhattan in hand in one lounge, and high-spirited club vibrations in the other.
“All of our other venues are in essence one room,” mentions partner McCray Miller “and we’ve been able to manage those places very well because we do a good job of creating an environment in one room in high-energy, sexy candle-lit bars that translate a good time. This one was a little bit of a challenge because I don’t want to say they’re disconnected, but separated. But we thought with those concepts as different as they are would work well together, and they did.”
Aside from the disco dance floor, an interesting feature within the dance room is a draft cocktail system comes into play, pouring vibrant concoctions refined with homemade spirits, oleos, and fresh seasonal fruit. Scott Cushman is the mad scientist behind the beverage program across Circa93’s properties, and with this innovative draft system, new possibilities come to the forefront of the concept, not to mention, leaving lots of extra room to play.
“The really great thing Scott did with this menu, he really kind of treated it like a science project,” says McCray “he didn’t just throw three or four ingredients thrown into a keg and hook up to draft, there’s a real science behind it. If someone handed you one of these cocktails in a glass, you would not know that it was just pulled from a handle and poured over ice.”
Flights of these draft cocktails are offered to sample each treat along with your group, big or small, and since The Queensberry has opened, it has become a multifaceted space that attracts patrons from afterwork socializers to downright party animals and everything in between. The next time you go searching for your new evening-out dwellings, take a walk into the basement and make some friends.
Written by Dakota Nate | Photography by Robiee Ziegler