Category Archives: Bars


The Beachbum is a firm believer in recycling.  Especially his own material.  But on his second visit to Washington D.C. in under a year, there were so many new bars to visit that he found it completely unnecessary to steal from his previous post on Capitol cocktails. Tom Brown’s congenial new watering hole, The Passenger, […]

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After tasting Trader Vic’s latest concoction at his Oakland bar in 1944, a visitor from Tahiti proclaimed the drink “mai tai roa áe.” In the parlance of our times, this roughly translates to “awesome.”  Vic named his drink the Mai Tai, which went on to enjoy fame less as a cocktail than as a symbol […]

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Since the Beachbum visited Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco last April, he’s had flawlessly executed exotic cocktails in Havana, Hawaii, Miami, Los Angeles, Ibiza, Nashville, and Washington, D.C.  But the call of the Cove remains strong. Why?  Smuggler’s (pictured above) is the only new craft cocktail bar in the United States that lives, breathes, and […]

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“Do you want to see Skipper Kent’s grave?” asked Doug Miller, Kailua-Kona’s resident urban archeologist.  It was a rhetorical question.  The Beachbum tore himself away from Doug’s Tiki collection, which includes Brobdingnagian rarities scavenged from the Big Island’s shuttered postwar hotels, and jumped in Doug’s jeep.  Five minutes later we pulled into a garden estate […]

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Sorry Tom.  Apparently you can go home again.  The Beachbum left Los Angeles in 2006, after a lifetime of inebriated indolence there.  Indolence came easy in L.A., but it was often difficult to achieve inebriation — especially if your preferred alcohol delivery system was the cocktail. Four years ago, no bar in town seemed aware […]

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