The Raymond in South Pasadena has been a family favorite for years. It’s got one of the best brunches in town. The Raymond’s outdoor patio, with great food, coupled with great people watching has been my mom’s choice for Mother’s Day Brunch since I was a kid. They now have one more notch in their belt, some fine cocktails. Cocktails my mom would approve of too. Owners Rob and Leslie Levy along with Garry Weyand have teamed up with Marcos Tello and Aidan Demarest (The Edison, First & Hope) to create a cocktail menu that embodies the very classic spirit that is 1886.
Tello and Demarest jumped on board and fully immersed themselves into Pasadena and its history, what emerged was a drink menu that features regional hand crafted seasonal cocktails, shaken and stirred. The selection of well balanced cocktails include the Rose Parade Punch made with gin, roses, cucumber and soda, the Pimm’s “No. 7” Cup made with Tequila and grapefruit soda, the Horseradish Egg Sour with horseradish-infused vodka, and the Honey-Nut Old-Fashioned with peanut-infused bourbon. Full cocktail menu here.
The bar itself is named after the year the historical Raymond Hotel was built. The home was originally where the caretaker’s cottage was located, then became the home of Walter Raymond during the Great Depression, and then became The Raymond restaurant approximately 35 years ago. The bar has been completely redesigned by David Poffenberger and Derrick Flynn from SODA DESIGN INC. They added new wall coverings, a tin ceiling, dim lighting, a tufted banquette, Craftsman chairs, drafting bar stools, high & low wood tables, several specialty fixtures including a old phone and clock hung on the wall, and custom French doors that open out to the wisteria covered patio where people can lounge beneath the South Pasadena sky.
Executive Chef Tim Guiltinan created a new bar menu for 1886 that will compliment the hand crafted cocktails and will include items such as Kentucky Fried Quail, Crispy Pork Belly, Grilled Japanese Octopus, 1886 Cheeseburger & Fries, and will offer several specials each night in addition to the menu. Guests can also request Chef Guiltinan’s dining menu in the bar. You can find 1886 by entering through the back parking lot, or through the back of the restaurant. The bar is open Tuesday through Sunday evening from 4:30 pm to 12:00 Midnight (it is South Pas after all, no 2am benders here), and from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday.