The Victorian is one of the biggest hot spots on Main Street in Santa Monica. Although many people know this old historic Victorian house as “Basement Tavern,” Basement Tavern actually refers to only one of the three floors this bar has.
The first floor has hardwood floors and an indoor bar. It also has an outside patio with tables and chairs, comfy couches and heat lamps. Downstairs is Basement Tavern, a dark room with a circular bar in the center, limited couch seating, a few tables and often a live band performing in the back corner. Upstairs is a library with walls and walls of books, couches, standing room and often a different live band (and 2 more bars, of course, but these ones are smaller with limited offerings).
So basically each room of the house gives you an entirely different experience and vibe.
Happy Hour time? Head to the Victorian for a great deal with cheap beer and wine. You can enjoy it outside on the patio as the sun sets and the beach breeze sets in. Going out on a weekday? Basement Tavern will be open. Try to snag a couch or chair and rock out to the live music. Going on a weekend night? GET THERE EARLY. The line for the Victorian often wraps around the entire building, through the parking lot. Although the place is huge, it’s also very popular and fills up quickly. On these nights I prefer the upstairs library and the outside patio to get some breathing room.
The Victorian is one of those Main Street staples that you drive by all the time or see all the time but don’t often think about. But it’s a great place for locals and tourists alike (if you’re willing to brave the crowds).
Disclosure: This post is not associated with the Victorian in any way. I received no compensation for this post.