Sonoma County: March 2010 Archives

Healdsburg Prohibition

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Phone booth, shop.jpgBy Deirdre Bourdet

The "Great Experiment" of Prohibition provided our nation with lots of valuable data about what Americans will do when legally deprived of something they love. It also left us with a scurrilous penchant for hidden bars with secret passwords, and places Joe sent you.  Ninety years after the 18th Amendment inspired the speakeasy, an enterprising bootlegger's grandson has opened a modern twist on his grandfather's original--named, naturally, Prohibition.

Richard and Kae Rosenberg of Healdsburg's boutique Grape Leaf Inn opened their speakeasy wine bar at the corner of Healdsburg Avenue and North Street after eleven years of offering guests a similar experience in the Inn's secret wine cellar.  To the uninitiated, Prohibition is an upscale retail establishment with interesting glassware, home accents, and wine-related accessories.  Locally hand-spun throws made of wool from local sheep, rolling decanters, Art Nouveau Prohibition T-shirts, and wine tumblers of all shapes and sizes vie for your attention in the warehouse-chic space.  Those in the know head for the antique telephone booth once their shopping is done, however--and not to approve a credit card charge.  Step into the booth, close the door, and lift the receiver... then push on through the secret door into the swanky bar that awaits.


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