Long Beach’s Hidden Bars & Speakeasies

It’s been over 100 years since Prohibition went into effect on Jan. 17, 1920, ushering in the era of the speakeasy. Long Beach offers several fun and fashionable ways for you to go underground–literally, in some cases–along with one spectacular speakeasy that’s on its way.


This underground Tiki bar–located under Pine Avenue–is accessed by descending a staircase and then winding one’s way to an entrance where a Disney-like tropical storm complete with thunder and lightning awaits. Inside Secret Island (209 Pine Ave) is authentic Tiki decor, terrific tropical drinks and a commitment to live entertainment including bands, hula dancers and a popular weekly karaoke program.


So, you get into The Exhibition Room by first entering Roxanne’s (1115 E. Wardlow Rd.) and walking to the back where you’ll find a phone booth. After punching a code into the phone–codes are given when making reservations–you push through the payphone’s wall and into a spectacular and painstakingly designed, Roaring 20’s speakeasy serving some of the best craft cocktails in town.

CREDIT: Richard Grant


This subterranean bar is located down a hidden staircase in the East Village Art District, looking like something out of a Humphrey Bogart film noir. Fitting, since Blind Donkey (149 Linden Ave.) was featured in the movie “La La Land,” and given the bar's cool vibe and clientele, as well as one of the city’s best selections of quality whiskey. Of course, none of this precludes having a good time whether your game is pool, Skee-Ball or karaoke.


Located at the corner of Ocean Boulevard and Pine Avenue, the tunnel, opened in 1927, provided beautifully designed pedestrian access from the city streets to the beach and Pike amusement park until it was closed in 1967. Now, this hidden gem is set to be resurrected by the people building the new, 31-story Hard Rock Hotel. Plans are to repurpose the tunnel into a speakeasy that will also feature live music. The hotel is slated to open in 2027, which just so happens to be the tunnel’s centennial.

CREDIT: LA Public Library
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Steve Lowery
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