Imagine yourself walking into a quaint bungalow style cottage full of charm where each elegant but cozy room beckons you with warmth and comfort. The tables are set with white linens and are laden with wonderful offerings. You walk towards the back of the cottage, open the French doors and walk into Marcos Tello and Aidan Demarest of Tello Demarest Liquid Assets vision of a fantasy garden cottage. You are now in the newly opened Bar 1886, part of The Raymond restaurant in Pasadena.
Appointed with an eclectic mix of retro and modern decor including a wall mounted flat screen TV, pressed-tin ceiling, beautifully patterned wall paper, retro wall phone and a beautiful, original wood bar that is the focus of this space and you can easily understand the name, Bar 1886. However, there is rich history behind it.
The Raymond used to be a caretakers cottage of The Raymond Hotel. The original hotel built in 1886, burned down on Easter Sunday 1895, but was rebuilt into a grand 300 room haven for the rich and famous like Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. Even though, the hotel was a popular destination, it didn’t survive the depression era.
Rob and Leslie Levy, and their partner Gary Weyand, took over the cottage in 1975 and The Raymond Restaurant flourished since then, but then we’ll talk about The Raymond on another day of 365 Things To Do In Pasadena.
Today, Day 214, brings us specifically to Bar 1886. I was invited there a few days ago by Rob Levy, who also happens to be one of the real estate lenders that I work with, for a private event. What a great opportunity to sacrifice self and explore the cocktail menu for our 365 Fans. 🙂
The decor, lighting and the overall charm creates the right ambiance from the moment you step into Bar 1886, but the magic behind the bar is what will keep you coming back. Danny Cymbal, one of the lead bartenders, certainly knows how to entertain the crowd. Not only is he nice and fun to talk to, but he is a true wizard. He was whipping out the most amazing cocktails with quite a bit of finesse.
Every drink I tried, thankfully I had friends that would allow me a sip here and there, was unique, fresh and exciting.
Here are my top 3 Bar 1886 cocktails:
1. Mojito – even though it is not on the menu, it is absolutely amazing. Made with a sugar cube, simple syrup, fresh lime juice and Cruzan Rum from US Virgin Islands, and crushed ice, this Mojito reminded me of a very tasty snow cone, perfectly made with a major kick! See the video below.
2. Orange Grove – a mixture of Gin, fresh California oranges and tonic water. A very refreshing and perfect cocktail! Beautifully prepared and presented.
3. Eastside – Okay… to be honest… I don’t know what was in it, but it was very tasty and absolutely gorgeous!
Some of the more interesting and unique drinks to try:
Horseradish Egg Sour – this neo classic was developed by cocktail consultant Ryan Magarian, which combines Horseradish-Infused Vodka, Sweet Vermouth, Egg White and Citrus Juices. My husband thoroughly enjoyed it!
Honey-Nut Old-Fashioned – whimsy was inspiration for this cocktail modeled after a breakfast cereal. This includes a peanut-infused Bourbon, Honey and bitters. If you like Bourbon, you have to try it. An over-sized piece of ice is perfectly stirred until the right consistency is reached.
Bar 1886 seems to have a cocktail for every taste. Danny, who managed to stay calm under pressure, given the multitude of folks vying for his attention is not to be missed. When you visit, say hello and tell him that Irina from 365 Things To Do sent you. 🙂
Do me a favor and report back on your favorite, will you? We’d love to hear from you!
1250 South Fair Oaks Avenue
Pasadena, California 91105
Reservations: (626) 441-3136
Visit 365 Things To Do In Pasadena® for more fun activities in Pasadena California and surrounding neighborhoods.
If you are interested in selling your home, call Irina Netchaev at 626-627-7107 for a private consultation.