The Edison

Photography Scott Atkinson Newell

Nostalgia-infused libations

The Edison isn’t so much a replica of the Roaring Twenties as it is a re-imagining of a bygone era forever etched in history for its social, artistic and cultural upheaval. The bar and lounge encapsulates an Old World style and a refined sense of romance that once dominated the vibrant metropolis of downtown Los Angeles. By the same token, it serves as a reminder that Angelenos live in a city of dreams and in a time of great reinvention—LA’s Downtown Renaissance is a breathing example of this.

Sheltered below street level in the historic Higgins Building, The Edison’s expansive post-industrial space boasts architectural remnants from its prior incarnation as a power plant. Massive power generators, Noveau style ironwork and exposed brick walls enrich the subterranean setting with an air of theatrics. Proprietors Andrew Meieran and Marc Smith have hand-selected Art Deco-inspired club chairs, amber-hued lighting fixtures, and Modernist glass-top tables to set against the mighty backdrops to dramatic effect.

It is here that Aidan Demarest, the Director of Beverages and Spirits, engineers his collection of concoctions that seamlessly slip under the bar’s resurgent framework. The comprehensive drink menu is firmly upholstered by a long list of malt Scotches, over a dozen varieties of Absinthe and libations that are armored with revivalist handles like The Enlightenment, Brown Derby, and the 19th Century Cocktail. Pay close attention and you’ll find even more surprises: every Thursday, The Edison baits penny-pinching bar-goers with their recession-proof 1910 Martini that will set you back just 35 cents. But whatever it is you end up drinking on a given night here, don’t approach the barkeeps for a Jägerbomb—you’re simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

– Kee Chang

The Edison’s signature cocktail: The Pilgrim

2 oz. Oxley Dry Gin
1 oz. Leopold’s Cranberry Liqueur
½ oz. Fresh lemon juice
½ oz. Simple syrup

Shake and strain into glass.