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Pasadena: Langham Huntington's bar gets seductive update and new name

November 10, 2010|By Valli Herman | Special to the Los Angeles Times
  • A curvy couch is the centerpiece of the renovated Tap Room at the Langham Huntington hotel in Pasadena.
A curvy couch is the centerpiece of the renovated Tap Room at the Langham… (Randall Michelson Photography )

No, it’s not a Chicago tavern, though the name of the new bar at the Langham Huntington, Pasadena may suggest one. The Tap Room is the latest update at the luxury hotel, once a member of the Ritz-Carlton chain.

In the nearly three years since new owners embarked on a nearly $6-million renovation, the 1907 Southern California landmark has revamped its spa, cottages and now the bar. The adjacent restaurant, which will be renamed the Royce, is set to open Friday under chef David Féau.

The now-open Tap Room takes its name from the original hotel bar, which made its debut in the 1930s. The space, most recently known just as "The Bar," now boasts contemporary decor set within the room’s original dark wood paneling and deep crown molding.

“She needed a little lipstick. The old girl was 100 years old!” said John Castino, food and beverage manager of the Tap Room.

The new look makes the place seem less like a wealthy grandma’s parlor and more like what it should be: a seductive, big-city hotel lounge.

Well-spaced couches and upholstered chairs remain for those who cherish privacy, but the new centerpiece, a curvy, three-pronged couch, nearly guarantees interaction. With cocktail tables that look like oversized chess pieces, the big brass chandelier dipped in white enamel and tree stumps for tables on the airy and bright terrace, the once-stuffy bar reveals a sense of humor and a fresh new menu.

“The setups look like the garde-manger in the kitchen,” said Castino, referring to the bar’s rows of fresh berries, herbs and slices of fruits and vegetables.

A small-plates menu (look for "Lobster Corn Dogs" and "Kobe Beef Patty Melt Sliders") and a lineup of freshly made cocktails add a new twist, along with DJs and live jazz.

Of course, there is beer on tap, including Chimay White “Tripel,” Morland’s Old Speckled Hen, Birra Moretti and North Coast Old Rasputin.

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