Yes, Repeal Day is a holiday ginned up by reps for liquor companies. That doesn't mean we won't celebrate it.
To be clear: December 5th marks the official end of Prohibition, the day when Utah, the last holdout of strong pro-Prohibition sentiment, finally ratified the 21st Amendment. That's how strongly Americans once felt about booze: We needed a constitutional amendment to ensure our right to possess it.
Though Repeal Day hit the peak of its present-day popularity two years ago, there are still events happening this Sunday.
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The Varnish: The shoebox-sized pseudo-speakeasy hosts the 2nd annual Jimmy Barela Award and Cocktail Competition. Named after a Depression-era barman who worked the counter at Cole's, it's hosted by Eric Alperin and Chris Bostick and is open to bartenders working in LA and OC. Thirsty in LA has details on entry requirements and judging.) The contest is private but... 118 E. 6th St., LA; (213) 622-9999.
Seven Grand: ...The real party is the contest's after-party, sponsored by Plymouth Gin and held at Seven Grand. $6 Plymouth Gin cocktails all night, free French dip sandwiches from Cole's, music by Big Willie's Burlesque and faux gambling. Doors open at 8 p.m. Period attire encouraged. 515 W. 7th St., LA; (213) 614-0737. www.sevengrand.la.
Comme Ça: ($8 each) created by Sam Ross and normally served only at Comme Ça Las Vegas. Joking about a celebrity's death? Try the Too Soon? Made with gin, cynar, lemon and orange juice. In the mood for a little West Coast jazz? There's the Chet Baker made with aged rum, honey, sweet vermouth, bitters and orange. Comme Ça's Hourglass Menu, quietly introduced in July and normally only available from 5 to 7 p.m., will be available at the bar until 10:30 p.m. 8479 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, CA 90067. (323) 782-1104. www.commecarestaurant.com.
The Edison: Guest bartender Erick Castro (formerly of the Rickhouse) will be on hand to dole out $6 punch cups all night. Live music by Vintage Trouble. 108 W. 2nd St., LA; (213) 613-0000. www.edisondowntown.com.