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6 Great Los Angeles Bars for Bourbon Cocktails

From a vinyl lover’s utopia to one of the best views in the city

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This advertising content was produced in collaboration between Vox Creative and our sponsor, without involvement from Vox Media editorial staff.

Beautiful bright patios or dark speakeasies, living room or disco vibes, and views forever: Los Angeles’ bar scene has something for every type of drinker. And after a couple of years of us being forced apart, Bulleit Bourbon believes it is high time to come together and share a long-overdue drink.

And Bulleit is ready to back that up. They believe the best way to help our local bar communities is to get back to the bar. To make that happen, they’ve established a $250,000 fund that will reimburse your first drink, helping to get money back into the hands of the staff of our favorite drinking establishments — six of which are listed below. You can submit your receipt at LocalBarSundays.com.*

*Available in qualifying states. Terms and Conditions of those states apply and can be found at LocalBarSundays.com/en-us/Rules.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

The Wolves

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The arched ceilings, dark wood bar, and rich, warm interior make The Wolves a great spot for date night, but the relaxed atmosphere means you can leave the tie at home. Grab a Bulleit Rye Manhattan and see if you can get seated in the balcony section; it’s the only outdoor spot of its kind along Spring Street and makes for excellent people-watching while nibbling on some frites and smoked duck wings. There’s also a performance space in the back bar, where you can catch anything from live music to vaudeville.

Gold Line

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The brainchild of Stones Throw Records founder Peanut Butter Wolf, this Highland Park hang is a vinyl lover’s utopia: Wolf’s personal record collection numbering in the thousands frames the sleek walnut bar. Start with a BLT (Bulleit Bourbon, lemon, and tonic) at happy hour by the bar, where the sun pours in through a large front window and a DJ spins some of the house’s music collection, then find a seat in Gold Line’s back lounge space as the evening continues and the party heats up. 

The Airliner

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In a town where the newest club can close before you’ve found its restroom, The Airliner is something special: in 2023 it will celebrate its 100th anniversary. Its latest incarnation opened in early 2020, and is now three spots in one: an Art Deco-inspired first floor, an upstairs performance space, and a new outdoor patio behind the building. Elevated bar bites like the Airliner Burger and the spicy Peruvian chicken wings pair nicely with a bourbon lemonade — or skip the mixers and sip Bulleit Rye on the rocks. 

Seven Grand

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One of the first whiskey bars of the downtown renaissance, Seven Grand has now expanded to four different cities, but still calls Los Angeles home. Arrive early for happy hour and order anything classic (a whisky sour here may be the best you’ll ever have), then peruse the jukebox. The pool tables and the patio will get busy as the night progresses, but never too busy to order another round. 

71Above

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Bars with a view in Los Angeles tend to be the ones nearest the ocean, but 71 Above’s city view is unmatched. The bar and restaurant sits almost 1,000 feet above ground level, near the top of the U.S. Bank Tower, making it one of the highest restaurants west of the Mississippi. Order a Bulleit Rye Sazerac and take in the view: Despite being miles from the shore, on a clear day, you can still see the sunset over the ocean. 

The Varnish

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Open the unmarked door at the back of Cole’s French Dip and you’ll enter The Varnish, one of downtown LA’s first nouveau speakeasies. The room hasn’t changed much over its 13 years of business, and neither has the spectacular quality of the cocktails. Order a Rye Sazerac or, if feeling a little bolder, give your bartender the types of drinks you like and let them surprise you. Settle in to hear the bar’s house band, which plays music from across genres, and finish off the night with a French dip from the bar. 

This advertising content was produced in collaboration between Vox Creative and our sponsor, without involvement from Vox Media editorial staff.

The Wolves

The arched ceilings, dark wood bar, and rich, warm interior make The Wolves a great spot for date night, but the relaxed atmosphere means you can leave the tie at home. Grab a Bulleit Rye Manhattan and see if you can get seated in the balcony section; it’s the only outdoor spot of its kind along Spring Street and makes for excellent people-watching while nibbling on some frites and smoked duck wings. There’s also a performance space in the back bar, where you can catch anything from live music to vaudeville.

Gold Line

The brainchild of Stones Throw Records founder Peanut Butter Wolf, this Highland Park hang is a vinyl lover’s utopia: Wolf’s personal record collection numbering in the thousands frames the sleek walnut bar. Start with a BLT (Bulleit Bourbon, lemon, and tonic) at happy hour by the bar, where the sun pours in through a large front window and a DJ spins some of the house’s music collection, then find a seat in Gold Line’s back lounge space as the evening continues and the party heats up. 

The Airliner

In a town where the newest club can close before you’ve found its restroom, The Airliner is something special: in 2023 it will celebrate its 100th anniversary. Its latest incarnation opened in early 2020, and is now three spots in one: an Art Deco-inspired first floor, an upstairs performance space, and a new outdoor patio behind the building. Elevated bar bites like the Airliner Burger and the spicy Peruvian chicken wings pair nicely with a bourbon lemonade — or skip the mixers and sip Bulleit Rye on the rocks. 

Seven Grand

One of the first whiskey bars of the downtown renaissance, Seven Grand has now expanded to four different cities, but still calls Los Angeles home. Arrive early for happy hour and order anything classic (a whisky sour here may be the best you’ll ever have), then peruse the jukebox. The pool tables and the patio will get busy as the night progresses, but never too busy to order another round. 

71Above

Bars with a view in Los Angeles tend to be the ones nearest the ocean, but 71 Above’s city view is unmatched. The bar and restaurant sits almost 1,000 feet above ground level, near the top of the U.S. Bank Tower, making it one of the highest restaurants west of the Mississippi. Order a Bulleit Rye Sazerac and take in the view: Despite being miles from the shore, on a clear day, you can still see the sunset over the ocean. 

The Varnish

Open the unmarked door at the back of Cole’s French Dip and you’ll enter The Varnish, one of downtown LA’s first nouveau speakeasies. The room hasn’t changed much over its 13 years of business, and neither has the spectacular quality of the cocktails. Order a Rye Sazerac or, if feeling a little bolder, give your bartender the types of drinks you like and let them surprise you. Settle in to hear the bar’s house band, which plays music from across genres, and finish off the night with a French dip from the bar. 

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