The California Club
The California Club is a private social club established in 1888 in downtown Los Angeles, the second-oldest such club in Southern California. Its building was erected in 1929 and 1930 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2010.
The spirit shop has been in the same location since the repeal of the Volstead Act in 1933 when it became legal to sell alcohol after the Prohibition. However, as we discovered just because alcohol was illegal, did not mean that the club did not occasionally have a party. During a 2015 renovation of 538, when removing a wooden panel, a hidden metal sliding door which opened onto the parking garage was discovered. It is believed to be the secret door where allegedly alcohol was smuggled in during Prohibition and it had been kept a secret for 80 years! Today the newly restored 'Prohibition Door' is used for deliver of wines directly to your car. (see photo above)
The California Club is a private club, however 538 is open to the public and as are the tasting events with a RSVP. Stopping by the shop is a great way to visit the club and signing up for an event is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the bar upstairs as a guest of the shop.