Event Recap: 1886 Bar’s Second Anniversary [Gallery]

By Lanee Lee

It was a special occasion for two reasons last Saturday: one, it was actually raining in Los Angeles and two, it was 1886 Bar at the Raymond’s two year Anniversary bash.

We arrived five minutes after the official start of the event and it was already a full house — which goes to show just how much the 1886 Bar at the Raymond has put Pasadena on the map as a cocktail destination.

An ornate sculpture with The Raymond emblazoned on it greeted us at the entrance. Of course, we can never pass up a drink that has passed through a tunnel of ice to reach our lips.

Once we had our perfectly-chilled elit by Stolichnaya in hand, an opulent table of gourmet bites were calling our name. Groups of friends were nearby, snacking on spiffy, passed appetizers like scallops in the shell, Korean potatoes, panko-grilled asparagus. No pigs-in-the-blanket or spicy chicken wings here.

Not one but five bars graced the 1886 Bar second Anniversary Party. Each bar featured a different cocktail and spirit to discover. Found in the first tent, The Long Goodbye rum punch, more suited for a summer wedding than a chilly day in L.A., was nevertheless, a tasty sipper.

Hearing The Overstreets fire up, we followed the music into the large tent, running into Aidan Demarest (he and Marcos Tellos were the original cocktail menu creators of 1886) on the way in.  “I love this band! I booked them all them time when I was at the Edison,” he shouted to be heard over the New Orleans big band style music.

Two bars offered up four cocktails in this tent: Indian Summer of watermelon tequila, lime juice, cilantro, Pimm’s Cup #6 (the vodka version), Tranquilizer cocktail of cream of coconut, Plantation rum, Flor de Cana rum and The American Way of Hirsh bourbon, housemade lime cordial, and Grolsch beer.

1886 Bar bartender Brady Weise, as he was making an American Way, said, “There’s nothing more American than bourbon and beer.”  Maybe because we are Americans, maybe because it was so balanced, whatever the reason, Weise’s cocktail was one of our favorites of the night.

I asked Cari Hah of Neat Bar, a bartender there to support her fellow libation makers, where the other 1886 Bar bartenders were.  “Follow me,” she said. We dashed out in the drizzling rain and she led me on a winding path. Not sure where she was taking me, I was relieved to discover it was the back entrance to the actual 1886 Bar which was more hopping than the other two party locales.

What the diners at The Raymond restaurant must have thought? Lots of raucous and revelry was spilling over into the dining room from the bar crowd ooohing and ahhing over the show-stopping cocktails.

Lacey Murillo and her team were making The Smoking Jacket and The Bittersweet Farewell.  Between the blue flame flying off the Bitter Farewell and the vapor off the Smoking Jacket, it was a pyromaniac’s wonderland.

The party peaked in the 1886 Bar with a sing-a-long to Don’t Stop Believing led by none other than Aidan Demarest with Marcos Tellos singing backup. And nope, we won’t stop believing that 1886 Bar at The Raymond will be around for a long time, celebrating many more anniversary’s to come.

1886 Bar @ The Raymond, 1250 S. Fair Oaks Ave. Pasadena, CA 91105

Images by Lanee Neill