While local nightly newscasts bemoan rising gas prices, L.A. scenesters are facing a liquid gouging of a different kind: escalating drink prices. We're already past the $15 Martini at many new bars (the trendy "S" Bar averages $17 for specialty cocktails like their Grey Goose-based "Truth Serum"), and it looks like the $20 Cosmopolitan is all but inevitable at clubs from Westwood to Pasadena. A glass of bubbly Veuve Cliquot at celebrity haunt Hyde is already close to $25.
But it's not just high-end lounges that are inching up their prices. Dives like downtown's Bar 107 is selling its premium martinis for $11. At Echo Park's Shortstop, a Grey Goose Martini is priced (to move?) at $13. Luckily for out-of-work hipsters or striking writers, the Shortstop, at least, still offers up one of the best happy hours in town: Pabst Blue Ribbon beer on tap for $1.50 a pop. But even that deal has gone up recently -- a few years ago a PBR cost a mere buck at what locals sometimes refer to as "the shorty."