Basement of The Victorian
2640 Main St.
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Parking: Parking lot at The Victorian, price varies from free-$5 depending on the night. Metered Street Parking
Daily, 5-8pm, All Night on Sundays, $3 Beers, $5 Well Drinks, $5 Chardonnay & Merlot
If you couldn’t tell from the name, Basement Tavern is a bar that’s in a basement. Some of the descriptions online make it sound hard to find, but it’s really not that complicated. Go to the back of The Victorian building, then you will find a chalkboard sign confirming that you are in the right place. If someone can’t figure that out, they’ve probably had too much to drink already and should just go home.
The first time I went to Basement Tavern, I had such an amazing time that I could not wait to return for happy hour. The cocktails were delicious, the service was good, & the guys were good looking & mature, not weirdos like I had encountered at other Main St. bars on a Saturday night. A couple of weeks after my first visit, my friend Carrie & I returned for the All Night Sunday Happy Hour.
Well, this visit was much different from a Saturday night…
None of their fabulous cocktails are on happy hour special. I can forgive if only a couple were featured, but having none on happy hour just seemed unfair already having had a taste weeks earlier. The big chalkboard signs listing the menu were just salt in the wound. I settled for a happy hour merlot ($5) and Carrie had a Blue Moon ($3). Although, I was just settling for the merlot, I was glad that the wine was fresh and the pour was generous.
Gone were all the hot guys that we previously saw weeks earlier. In fact, most of the men were in their 60’s, 70’s, & 80’s. Seriously. In turns out we had stumbled upon a party that the bar hosted for the nearby retirement complex to make up for being so loud on the weekends. We thought it was very nice of them, but just wished it were listed on their twitter or facebook page so we could have saved our visit for another time. After all, they are always listing concerts and food trucks.
For food, you can order Italian dishes from the restaurant upstairs, but there’s no happy hour deal. Please note, there is a $2.50 charge per order since the food comes from a separate business. There are plenty of tasty pizzas that are pretty wallet friendly, especially when splitting. We ordered a margherita pizza ($13) so tasty that one of the retirement party ladies tried to take a piece! On Tuesdays, Basement Tavern promotes Food Truck Tuesdays, where different trucks park in their lot and you allowed to bring the food into the bar. We were also tipped off that Tuesdays might be a good day to try happy hour again.
Since the service was still good, we both agreed we would try again. This particular Sunday visit fell on a full moon so that could be why the night was so random. Here’s hoping for a better future visit!
Rating: 3 Martinis