Gin Rummy: An Island-Inspired Cocktail Bar Opens On The Westside

Escape to the tropics….

Watch out westside, this ain’t your grandma’s gin rummy.

From renowned Los Angeles bar proprietor Jared Meisler of The Roger Room, Bar Lubitsch, The Friend and The Little Friend and the exemplary team of David and Patti Reiss of Reiss Co. of The Brig and The Alibi Room, comes the funky new cocktail establishment, Gin Rummy.

Located at 822 Washington Boulevard in Marina del Rey, adjacent to Meisler’s popular Little Friend, Gin Rummy takes over Nueva after a successful three-year run. Meisler states that he and his partners saw a need for a large and welcoming bar space in the neighborhood. 

“I’ve always loved the cocktails that come from beach cultures, just as much as I love the imagery and feel of beachy bars,” Meisler said. “I see a through line between a Tiki Bar, a Cuban Rum Bar, a Mexican Cantina, a Brazilian Quisque, a Spanish Chiringuito and a Venice Beach watering hole. They’re all timeless, relaxed, and fun, serving fantastic and unique drinks. Gin Rummy is an homage to all things Beach Bar, from nautical to tropical, in a vintage parlor.”

Gin Rummy Interior
Photo: Philip Guerette

At this gateway to Venice, Gin Rummy invites passersby to escape to the tropics and get swept away, sipping exotic cocktails and enjoying delicious snacks in a pirate’s lair. The spacious 200-seat setting reimagined and designed by Meisler creates a colorful and ornate island paradise marrying nautical and South Pacific themes with contemporary design.

Guests enter Gin Rummy through the large front door and take in the huge zinc-top mahogany bar with shelves stacked with vast arrays of rum, gin, tequila, and mezcal along with decorative tchotchkes of ships in bottles. A large bank of skylights above the bar provides soft sunlight during golden hour as guests relax in a convivial state of mind. When dusk turns to night, the far wall is illuminated by a row of vintage island-themed pinball machines giving Gin Rummy a timeless, comfortable feel.

Gin Rummy Bar
Photo: Philip Guerette

As one’s eye travels the room, imbibers take in giant redwood beams supporting a tongue and grove ceiling adorned by funky glassware. Native and tribal prints cover the bar stools and wood booths. Scattered around the room are mini palm trees and lush tropical plants adorned with brass ship hardware. The thick posts are wrapped in nautical rope and accented with imagery of Caribbean and Polynesian life, ocean and boats and jungle paintings. Other notes include large bone-inlaid mirrors, woven wood light fixtures, rattan chairs, and lazy ceiling fans for a sultry Key Largo effect.

Gin Rummy Patio
Photo: Philip Guerette

Outside, the convertible indoor/outdoor patio exudes a tropical sandy beachy village vibe, adorned with wood carvings and carved wooden mirrors. The natural oak tables are painted with checker and backgammon boards, inviting guests to linger and play games comfortably in reclined rattan chairs. Lush tropical foliage is covered by a mahogany pergola illuminating the space with brass ship lights.

Gin Rummy

The cocktail program is masterfully led by Beverage Directors Danilo Kim, formerly of The Alibi Room and Nueva and Marcus Ragas, whose resume includes The Chestnut Club and Caboco. Look for categories of Frozen Rummys, Stirred and Tiki, classic and imaginative Highballs, as well as the irresistible Cocktails For Four that look back to the legendary Trader Vic’s from days gone by.

Gin Rummy also offers several no booze  options for the sober crowd or designated driver, including the Virgin Mint Margarita with Spiritless Jalisco Tequila, Lyres Orange Sec, lime and agave.

Gin Rummy

Gin Rummy also offers a selection of satisfying nosh including Tempura Calamari, Tacos, Smokey Caesar Salad and Vegan Chicken & Chips to enjoy while sipping on delicious cocktails and dreaming of the Pacific including Tempura Calamari.

On the desert menu, guests can satisfy their sweet tooth with a selection of pies like Key Lime, Chocolate Chess and Banana Cream.

Gin Rummy is open daily Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturday and Sunday: from 12 p.m. to 2 a.m. and Happy Hour 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. nightly.

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