Glendale gets a bad rap–nearly all of it totally unfounded. I for one love the fact that the neighborhoods are lovely, I can get anywhere from Silver Lake to Studio City in 15 min and I can go for a walk without getting asked if I bang–all positives in my book.
Another positive is Villains Tavern, One Eyed Gypsy, The Varnish and The Edison. Like all these modern-day speakeasies, The Famous also has a worthy origin story.
Housed in Glendale’s historic Huntley-Evans building, this Art Deco beauty was designed in 1921 by Alfred F. Priest, famed designer of Glendale’s Seely’s building and movie palaces across Los Angeles. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1995, it was considered one of the finest structures of its day.
In 1922, The Famous Department Store took up residence and became the first in the U.S. to offer elevators and round-the-clock air conditioning. On opening night, every local luminary turned up to marvel at the opulence of the building. Ninety years later, The Famous craft cocktail lounge moved in.
Sitting across the street from The Americana, the bar embraces it’s storied history as a place to see and be seen–ideally with a craft cocktail in hand made with the precision and care of a Michelin chef. Invented in the U.S. in the 1800s, craft cocktails emphasize the use of fresh ingredients, infusions and bitters.
Cocktails with names like Ivy Rose and Spice Trader feature house-made grenadine and something called pickling spice shrub–my thoughts exactly. Luckily, each drink, many of which are exact replicas of 1920s concoctions, comes with a helpful explanation of exactly what you’re about to imbibe and thoroughly enjoy.
Sleek and sophisticated, this is exactly what Glendale needed and reason enough to take another look at the burgeoning Jewel City.