Saunter Through Pasadena's Bygone Speakeasies

Pasadena Walking Tours will revisit some of the Crown City's secret and long-gone clubs during a virtual event.


What to Know

  • Saturday, July 25
  • 6 p.m.
  • $25 suggested ticket (donate what you can)

The Rose City, by its very name, seems like it must be one of the most sun-dappled, blue-sky'd spots in all of Southern California.

After all roses, which are synonymous with Pasadena, need sunshine to grow, making the city, at least in reputation, a flowery, daytime-dominating delight.

But the history-laden enclave has also long showed an affection for the night, which is seen today in the many restaurants and bars dotting Old Pasadena, South Lake Avenue, and other nearby neighborhoods.

Before many of those esteemed establishments were even established, though, there was the fabled Pasadena speakeasy.

Secret and exclusive clubs flourished during the time of Prohibition around the august town, and the people behind Pasadena Walking Tours are ready to take a deep and story-filled dive into the topic of Saloons & Speakeasies on Saturday, July 25.

It's a virtual event, so your window into this long-gone world will be a screen.

And that screen? It will be full of vintage photos and modern-day snapshots, the kind of documentation that fills out the larger tale of secret passwords, spirited soirées, and beverages enjoyed behind the scenes.

No tour on this topic would be complete without a discussion of Lucky Baldwin, a name that's still connected to after-hours revelry in the Crown City.

The vineyards of Lamanda Park, a trip to an Altadena speakeasy, the Green Hotel, and other stops along the way will also depict a dry city that was really rather, well, damp, and definitely not at all dry as it seemed.

The tour's description does intrigue: "Pasadena has had a long, complicated relationship with alcohol. Long before Prohibition, Pasadena prided itself on being a 'Dry' community, which obviously meant that there was rampant rule-breaking everywhere you turned!"

"On this tour, we'll explore the up and the downs, the 'drys' and the 'wets,' that have characterized this colorful slice of the Crown City's history."

It's a Pay As You Can virtual event, with a $25 suggested ticket.

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