by Kim Tronic, Resident Cocktail Mistress…
Much like any girl looking back at her yearbook photos from 1999, I’m horrified that my baggy ripped pants, faded T-shirt, and frayed hemp necklace constituted “fashion.” Because my sense of style has evolved about ten times since then, I’m grateful that my wardrobe has matured — those Abercrombie jeans would do nothing to flatter this thirty-something figure.
Fortunately, we live in a society that loves reinvention. Hi, Britney Spears. ‘Sup, Madonna? How ya doin’, Johnny Depp? These celebs have cycled through countless identities, and we’re always eager to see their newest rendition. But for a gal who loves gallivanting around town, a watering-hole-revamp is far more exciting than the overhaul of some Hollywood hotshot.
The Snakepit Alehouse, a former dive that once earned a frequent flier sticker during my 2005 weekend romps, now has a spot on my “Best Bar Revamp” checklist.
Back in their previous inception, the Snakepit wasn’t known for amazing cocktails or spectacular food, but if you wanted a no-frills establishment with cheap margaritas, this was the spot. Sadly, in 2012 a fire ripped through the joint and the Snakepit closed its doors temporarily.
But the ‘Pit reopened a few months later with a fresh attitude, sleek interior, and glossy new countertops, yet still retained the elements and personality that made it so appealing beforehand. A digital jukebox. Huge windows that open out to Melrose Blvd. Giant glass liquor shelves. A Ms. Pac-Man machine. Touchscreen bar games. (Hint: if you’re on a date and want the biggest laugh of your life, play Erotic Photo Hunt.)
Speaking of upgrades, the Snakepit’s food menu went from “meh” to “more, please!” (Think: organic chicken, grass-fed beef, and fries to die for.)
More importantly, the revitalized bar is committed to good whiskey. Ask about their rare whiskey menu or scan the diverse assortment of high-quality bourbons. Are you a whiskey noob? Not to worry, they also have a menu that explains how it’s made, and how to properly taste and enjoy the libation.
With my favorite spirit so readily available, I had to swap my margarita order circa 2005 for a new Snakepit specialty.
1.5 ounces Bulleit Rye
.75 ounces Chambord
.25 ounces Galliano
Squeeze of lemon
Garnish Luxardo cherry
The drink is so well-balanced, it could walk across a high-wire in spiked heels with no safety net. The citrus component melds with Galliano’s earthy essence, creating a luxuriously tarty liquor. You could easily spend a warm afternoon sipping Al Lampones and admiring how one of WeHo’s oldest bars shed its old skin for a sweet new one.