Biltmore’s Gallery Bar
Walking through a lobby rich with history, one revisits the glamorous days of Downtown with the Biltmore Hotel. It was where movie stars played and presidential speeches were given, it was even an early home to the Academy Awards. Image circa 1937, courtesy of Oscars.org
The hotel, built in 1923, is also notorious for being the last place actress Elizabeth Short, “the Black Dahlia” was seen alive before her murder in 1947. The Gallery Bar even named a drink in her honor, made with citrus vodka, Chambord and Kahlua.
The hotel’s Gallery Bar remains in its original splendorous Roman Pompeii style with ornate coffered ceilings and marble balustrades. Bartender and cocktail historian, Tony offers tours of the Prohibition Era trap doors and passageways connected to the hotel’s Crystal Ballroom, used to usher partygoers and their hooch out during police raids.
Befitting the hotel’s Prohibition history, the bar offers libations from the era like the Rye Whiskey Sazerac or the Gatsby-esque Brandy Crusta made with Cognac, Cointreau, bitters and garnished with a cored lemon, which extends the champagne flute.
The bar also features a number of signature martinis, like their Mango-Cucumber Cosmopolitan or Agave & Elderflower. The adjacent Cognac Room allows you to sip your snifter of Hennessy Paradise or Remy Martin Louis XIII at your leisure; no need to run for a trap door anymore.
Janica De Guzman