By Chris Morrison, Guest Blogger for LoSoCal
In the Roaring Twenties, the American government instituted the “Noble Experiment”. This was a 13-year ban on the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcohol in the United States. During that time, certain members of American society decided that their government didn't know what was best for them and they had a sip or two anyway. Thus, the speakeasy was born. These backroom, rebellious hideaways were often sponsored by the mob and run by a clandestine system of passwords and hidden entrances. In 1931 the 21st amendment was passed, ending the noble experiment of prohibition. Speakeasies started to fade away as Americans could hit their favorite bars again. Some; however, remain.
As to not break the rules, I won't be spilling the beans on how to get into any of these places. You will have to figure that out on your own ;)
The Captain Charles Kenneth
Image courtesy of The Capitan Charles Kenneth
Built in 1887, the Captain Charles Kenneth has the distinction of being the only speakeasy on this list that was a real speakeasy and illegal gambling den back in the day. The owners have not done much to it since, so expect a fairly unassuming interior with rustic charm. Hidden under a major restaurant off of Carlsbad Village Drive, The Charles Kenneth serves a very tasty menu of very strong drinks. There is no beer or wine available, they keep it traditional by only serving Rspirits. Make sure you ask one of their dapper bouncers to give you the history of the building, it is fascinating to learn the stories. I also highly recommend that you ask the bartender to make you something that is not on the menu. Their house drinks are delicious, but the bartenders are so skilled that what they whip up is usually just as good if not better.
Image courtesy of @101proofoceanside
This spot is one of my favorite bars in all of North County. This very intimate speakeasy is hidden inside a restaurant off of the 101 in downtown Oceanside. The restaurant used to be a bank and the speakeasy has taken over the old bank vault. Running with the slogan “Plausible Deniability” this speakeasy has strong drinks, beer, and wine. They also offer a limited food menu from the restaurant that houses them. Every time I have been they are playing great Jazz music all night. The intimate nature of the bar means that the bartenders are extremely attentive and make sure your glass is never empty. Make sure you call for reservations, the small space means that they do fill up quickly.
Raised by Wolves
Image courtesy of @raisedbywolves
This high-class speakeasy in La Jolla is a mix of a specialized bottle shop and bar with a hidden entrance that is straight out of Scooby Doo. If you are looking for a specialized cocktail bar with an excellent selection of top-shelf liquor that is hard to find elsewhere, Raised by Wolves is the spot for you. Like the other bars on this list, they serve an awesome selection of handcrafted specialty cocktails. Unlike the other bars on this list, you are encouraged to buy and take home a bottle of the liquor that you enjoyed in your drink. I highly recommend them for a fancy night out or if you are looking to impress someone with a secret door!
Vin De Syrah
Image Courtesy of @vindesyrah
If you know me then you know that I love good wine. So when I heard that there was a wine bar hidden in the heart of downtown San Diego I had to go check it out! Vin De Syrah is like if Lewis Carroll's’ Alice designed an underground wine bar and nightclub. The entrance (near The Melting Pot in the Gaslamp) is difficult to find. One of my favorite parts of this bar is that once you finally figure out how to get in, you will find that there is a camera trained on the front door! Everyone at the bar has been watching you try to figure out where the entrance is as they enjoy their wine and cocktails. One of the best parts of drinking there is watching others try to discover the secret entrance.
On the subject of drinks, Vin De Syrah, of course, offers a large selection of wine. They also offer craft cocktails as well as a large beer selection and a variety of small bites to eat. As a heads up; on most weekends they have live music after 10 and it can get busy and very loud. If you are looking for an eclectic escape from the hustle and bustle of downtown then Vin De Syrah is the perfect spot to have a glass of wine and watch people try to figure out a secret door.
Chris Morrison (pictured above on the right) owns Morrison Marketing Solutions, a local marketing company that he launched last year. He is a graduate of the University of California San Marcos with a degree in business and an emphasis on marketing. Chris is a SoCal native who enjoys writing about local San Diego musicians, beer, restaurants, and more. He loves exploring fun and unique spots in San Diego County! Reach out, say hi, and let him know about YOUR favorite spot in SD!
By Karen Vazquez, Owner and Founder of LoSoCal
In 2011, Felena Hanson founded Hera Hub, a co-working space for the women of San Diego County. She launched her brand in the Sorrento Valley area, and within a very short time, the visionary concept of Hera Hub exploded with several locations throughout San Diego County. Each co-working space has a spa-like ambiance with classy decor, inspirational art and a feminine touch. In these venues, there are conference rooms available by appointment for members to use as well as many other perks like a full kitchen for entertaining during events, quiet areas for business tasking, community rooms and many other features that assist members with their productivity. Hera Hub monthly member events and weekly, educational business boosters are the basis of the brand, because the founder, Felena, felt that many women entrepreneurs who work from home risk experiencing too much isolation and as a result... a lack of inspiration and motivation. She wanted women in the entrepreneurial realm to have a community based support system as they embarked on their personal business goals. Her tenacity from overcoming severe trauma and injuries after a tragic car accident, mixed with her passion for knowledge and love for women in general, led her to create Hera Hub as a vehicle for women entrepreneurs. Her mission is to grow Hera Hub globally and she has a goal set with launching another 200 locations worldwide by the year 2020. To learn more about this project, click here: http://herahub.com/expansion/
She has already franchised the brand, and the entire purpose of Hera Hub is to support LOCAL women entrepreneurs! She hopes that women who are part of the Hera Hub community choose to learn all they can during the weekly business boosters, so they are educating and empowering themselves as they build their brands and become "bad ass" business women in the modern world. Another amazing component of being a part of the Hera Hub community is collaboration and mentoring opportunities. Several days of the week there are experts available on site for scheduled Q & A "Guru Hours" with leading entrepreneurs in areas ranging from SEO optimization, social media marketing, branding, intellectual property, legal copywriting and trademarking, pricing and profitability and so much more!
Felena Hanson, Founder of Hera Hub and Owner of the Sorrento Valley and Mission Valley locations. Photo credit: Nikkie Achartz
This is an inspiring video. Click above to learn more about why she created Hera Hub. Her personal story shows that we can overcome setbacks and reach our life and business goals!
Felena has her Masters Degree in Business Administration. She is a published author with her book, Flight Club- Rebel, Reinvent, and Thrive: How to Launch Your Dream Business,'' and a plethora of published material that she has written over the years for many magazines, both online and in print. Essentially, Felena set the tone at the onset of creating Hera Hub around what a shared workspace for women should look like regarding values, education, creativity and inspiration, supportive collaboration, productive feedback around business goals, strategy, networking relationships and authenticity in the business world. Her brilliance with business strategy, branding and marketing, has always been an underlying theme of the success of Hera Hub and what it has become as of today with locations worldwide.
Each venue whether in the United States or abroad is operated by a private owner. As I mentioned before, Felena owns the Sorrento Valley and Mission Valley locations. Initially, the Carlsbad location was also owned by Felena, but in the summer of 2016, Lisane Basquiat, became the new sole proprietor. I have had the opportunity to work with Lisane at Hera Hub Carlsbad for almost three years, and I recently had a conversation with her as to why she bought the business from Felena in the first place. Her response:
“It was in line with where I was in my life. I was looking for an opportunity to empower women on their entrepreneurial journey and I made a decision to invest in that via Hera Hub Carlsbad. I was already an established business owner, and I wanted to create an environment at Hera Hub Carlsbad where I was encouraging women to not only have a dream about owning a business of their own, but to take it a step further where they were educated, supported and ultimately in the “driver’s seat” of running their own businesses.”
Lisane is launching her new podcast on iHeart Radio, Shaping Freedom. Click on the photo above to visit her new website and to contact her with any questions. In addition to owning and operating Hera Hub Carlsbad, Lisane Basquiat is an empowerment coach, certified Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and mom. She lives in San Diego County, but also spends time visiting with her daughter and family on the East Coast.
Lisane’s passion for women, entrepreneurship and creating an inspiring and encouraging environment at Hera Hub Carlsbad is a direct reflection of everything that the brand represents as a whole. Women. Collaboration. Community. Empowerment. Education.
Essentially, Hera Hub, whether in California, Sweden or Georgia, is and always will be about female entrepreneurs having the opportunity to build their brands fearlessly in a safe community space with business education training at the core of their business practices. I acknowledged this from the beginning when I became an Ambassador for the brand back in August of 2016. At that time, I had already been blogging for over a year with LoSoCal and I was HUNGRY for knowledge about how to be an entrepreneur. Due to my career experience in the field of management, I was already somewhat familiar with many basic business concepts and best practices, however Hera Hub offered me everything that I was looking for and more. It was very different learning about how to be my own business owner versus having a J-O-B!
When I was initially offered the opportunity to become a part of the Hera Hub community, it manifested in the foyer of Hera Hub Carlsbad with Felena interviewing me and asking me questions about LoSoCal and what my goals were with my brand. I was wearing yoga pants per my usual and my hair was tied back in a less than fashionable manner. Thank goodness she didn’t judge me based on my appearance, and to her credit, that was exactly why I appreciated her during our interview. She saw right through me. I could have been wearing a full blown designer outfit and it would not have mattered to her either way. She wasn’t interested in what I was wearing or how I looked, because for her it was more a matter of whether or not I had a brand that I believed in and she was more curious about “why” I wanted to be an entrepreneur. It has taken me almost three years as a member at Hera Hub to finally realize that is literally the “magic question” behind any successful brand! If the answer is money, it may be a tricky road at the start for a business owner with that mindset. In my humble opinion and after being exposed to so many entrepreneurs at Hera Hub, the BEST reason, the only reason to truly start a business is pure passion for what your business offers to the world!I had a mentor years ago tell me that "passion leads to success" and I agree wholeheartedly.
LoSoCal has taken so many twists and turns. I have experienced many wonderful successes and many epic failures. Creating and building LoSoCal as a blog and brand that reminds people to shop local and support our local businesses, entrepreneurs and artists has been one of my greatest life accomplishments. Passion for what I do with LoSoCal and the knowledge and support that I have gained from Hera Hub Carlsbad, has driven me to always hold on and move forward with my business goals. Thanks to the amazing people in my life who have encouraged me to keep on keeping on with LoSoCal! I am also currently facing some health challenges which have prevented me from blogging as much as I would like to on a regular basis, but it is because of the women at Hera Hub that I have learned that it is alright to have setbacks as long as I’m doing the best that I can with my business day by day.
Felena and Lisane have both played very large roles in my life as the founder and owner of LoSoCal. I created LoSoCal almost four years ago, and in the beginning I had no idea what I was doing as an entrepreneur. Felena planted the seed when she saw my potential and hired me as an Ambassador for Hera Hub to represent the brand almost three years ago, and Lisane has helped me to water and grow my garden with LoSoCal. These two women, along with many others who have become my dear friends and supportive business mentors, are the reason why I still keep putting one foot in front of the other with LoSoCal. My relationships with the women of the Hera Hub community have changed my life and my business forever! If I had the opportunity to talk to a female entrepreneur who is just starting out on her journey as a business owner, I would tell her heart to heart that the BEST decision she could ever make for herself and her business is to become a part of a community like Hera Hub at the onset.
"Hera Hub, is a spa-inspired shared workspace and business accelerator for female entrepreneurs. This as-needed, flexible work and meeting space provides a productive environment for growing businesses. Hera Hub members have access to a professional space to meet with clients and to connect and collaborate with like-minded business owners, thus giving them the support they need to be prosperous. The business supports hundreds of freelancers, entrepreneurs, and nonprofits in over 16 industry segments."
Thanks for reading friends of LoSoCal. Please like this article below if you enjoyed reading about Hera Hub... and as always remember to shop local as much as possible to support our local communities and business owners!
by Karen Vazquez
People ask me all of the time: “What is LoSoCal?” The answer is simple. I am an advocate for our local Southern California small business owners and artists. LoSocal is the brand that I created about three and a half years ago as a way for me to share my favorite aspects of the local scene in Southern California through photography and the written word. What I love the most about the local vibe here in SoCal is the shops, restaurants, artists and events!
For me, shopping local is a way of life. I try my best to shop local and utilize local services and products as much as possible. I have heard from several people that it’s simply too expensive, especially with Amazon and a great deal of inexpensive stores and resources out there that bombard our lives with their “sales” and “promotions.” I am not against shopping at franchises and chain stores, however I am aware of the positive impact that shopping locally can have on our communities, and so it is something I focus on quite a bit when I am shopping, dining out or hiring someone for a service.
To highlight a few important aspects of shopping locally and using local services and tradespeople, I figured I would offer a list of HOW this practice positively impacts and enhances our neighborhoods.
First off, it benefits the environment by minimizing the mass transport of many products we order or use. It’s an undeniable truth with semi trucks, vans and oversized vehicles buzzing around always in route for deliveries. By shopping locally we literally reduce fuel consumption and air pollution from vehicle emissions. When we shop at our local grocery stores and farmers markets, we are benefiting the environment because many of the local farmers and distributors of products are not transporting their food and products to far distances. What they grow, create or manufacture is provided to local stores, shops and consumers and the quality is usually exceptional compared to other mainstream chains.
Another benefit of shopping in our local SoCal communities is accessibility. It’s as simple as that. In many areas of coastal Southern California we can walk outside to a neighboring farmers market, ride a bike to a coffee shop or a cafe or if we do drive somewhere… there are so many local stores and boutiques that the options abound. In my personal opinion, it is a matter of investing a minimal amount of time doing research on the internet either before hand or even on the go and you’re on your way! By utilizing the local small businesses in our neighborhoods, we automatically contribute to our communities by increasing the value of these local companies and brands. Every local purchase we make provides income for our community shop owners and entrepreneurs. That is why I regularly emphasize on LoSoCal how crucial it is to take our daily purchases off of “auto-pilot” mode and convert them into regular acts of consumer awareness and mindfulness.
So many of us forget that by shopping locally we also create and sustain jobs in our communities. This is perhaps the most obvious reason why we should shop in our local villages and communities. The more we create a demand for local goods and products, the more we proactively develop a thriving workforce in our local cities and towns.
I could go on in more detail about how we can impact our communities with making locally sourced purchases, but the reasons are quite obvious. Here is a list of my favorite reasons to shop local: it helps the environment, it is convenient, it boosts our local employment opportunities and local economies, the products and goods are generally of higher quality and the service at our local stores and shops is customarily better than at chain stores. And, by supporting local tradespeople, artisans, musicians and other local people who are experts in their crafts, we are essentially investing in the families of our local friends and neighbors!
That is always a good choice.
Thanks for reading!
...find us on Instagram @LoSoCal @LoSoCalStyle
Owner, Lead Blogger
Hello, my name is Karen Vazquez. I have lived in Southern California for over thirty years. I realized about four years ago that it was time for me to give back to this wonderful community by supporting local SoCal businesses, performers, restaurants, spas, boutiques, fitness studios, farmers markets and more. My support shines through here by highlighting these fabulous local SoCal spots. You can also follow me on Instagram, Twitter, PInterest and LinkedIn. I will be featuring many local destinations in the area that have been my personal favorites for years and am currently recruiting guest bloggers to expand the voice of LoSoCal. I have had guest bloggers in the past, but aim to incorporate local SoCal bloggers on a regular basis as a fun, creative and collaborative way to connect with the community here. Essentially, LoSoCal is a community blog, and it is meant to be resource to locals in this area and visitors from around the world. Please like or follow LoSoCal on the social media business pages and tell your contacts about the blog. Thanks for stopping by...
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