Page 73 - San Luis Obispo Visitors Guide - Spring 2023
P. 73

Paso Robles
Step inside Eleven Twenty-Two Cocktail Lounge & Speakeasy
 It’s the place to be for an approachable yet elevated cocktail experience
Hidden locations, intimate gatherings and exquisite cocktails – these make up just a small portion of the lure of the modern-day speakeasy. It’s the lure of speakeasies that led Donovan Schmit and Troy Larkin to intro- duce Eleven Twenty-Two Cocktail Lounge & Speakeasy, or 1122 to locals, to downtown Paso Robles back in 2018.
With roots harking back to the underground, secretive drinking establishments of the Prohibition Era, the speakeasies of today are more accessible and, perhaps, a
bit more fun. On any given day of the week, the tables and bar stools at 1122 are filled with a mix of the after-work crowd, ranchers, farm- ers, and couples enjoying a cocktail before dinner at one of the many local restaurants nearby.
“It’s actually a lot easier to get inside our speakeasy than people think, especially during the week,” Donovan said. “Yes, 1122 is elegant and fancy, but that doesn’t mean it’s off-limits; it’s actually quite ap- proachable. Paso is a cowboy town with farmers and grapes and crops. So, if you have mud on your boots or you’re wearing flip-flops and shorts, by all means we want you to come in and see us.”
The secret is out
With a motto of “No phones, no photography, just amazing cocktails and service” it’s no surprise 1122 has steadily gained popularity with both locals and tourists alike. Many will dress up for a night on the town, with some donning Great Gatsby-era clothing and taking
their experience at the speakeasy to the next level.
“There’s a rumor going around that 1122 is always full and there’s always a line, but that is simply
not true,” Donovan said. “Yes, we do tend to have lines on Fridays and Saturdays but the line moves quickly. With just 30 seats, it’s a special, intimate space which is true of most speakeasies. Most people come in for one or two cocktails before or after dinner at one of
the nearby restaurants so we are constantly flipping tables; when two people leave, two more enter so the line moves fairly quickly on busy nights.”
So, just how does one gain access to 1122? It’s actually quite accessible; in fact, there are two ways to enter the candlelit 1930's inspired speakeasy. Enter through Pappy McGregor’s, located at 1122 Pine St., exit out the back patio, and the 1122 door is on the left. Or, en- ter through the back of the building on Railroad Street and walk to the door marked 1122.
“It’s definitely not a secret any- more,” Donovan said. “You don’t need a password to get inside, you just need to know where to find us. It’s all about the experience, starting with the location and how to get in- side through the secret room. Once
you enter the space, hear the music, take in the atmosphere, and see the
staff in uniforms, you are trans- ported to a different era – that’s the whole speakeasy experience.”
Another little secret, 1122 now offers reservations on Sunday and Tuesday - Thursday if you are on a tight schedule! Reservations are not necessary and are available for a table up to four people. Make reservations through the website:
Under the direction of General Manager and Lead Bartender Matt Kelly, the entire staff of 1122 is dedicated to ensuring guests enjoy an elevated cocktail experience. Everybody from the bartenders to the hostess to the door men dress in uniforms of the era including suspenders with bow ties, fedoras,
  Visit Vivant...
Gourmet picnic boxes for local wine tasting
Charcuterie, fresh bread, local food products
Over 150 cheeses
Expert staff to assist with wine pairing
Enjoy our patio
                                                               CHEESE! Lunch Menu Wine
821 Pine St Suite B Paso Robles
Across from the train station
       SPRING 2023 73

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