Sometime during the the early morning hours of Saturday, August 17th, mixologists at Silverlake’s only Styx-themed speakeasy served The Grand Finale in spirit, and in cocktail form, as the Paradise Theatre closed its doors after a successful five-month run.
Located in a nondescript, large house in Franklin Hills, the speakeasy came into being as the result of an inside joke between roommates and lifelong Styx fans, Randy and Andy (yes, their real names). Randy explains, “We originally just called the house the Paradise Theatre, and started to get Styx-related artwork done just to make the joke even bigger. We were also taking a class on how to make drinks, and had a lot booze to practice with. Andy had just moved to LA and didn’t know anyone, and we had no one to share the drinks with. The idea of a Styx-themed speakeasy was just pointless enough to work.”
Pointless maybe, but a sweet and reverent nod to Styx nonetheless. Murals of band members adorned the walls and new cocktails were invented and added weekly (perennial favorites included the Grand Illusion and the Kilroy Was Here). Styx albums and rarities became the soundtrack to many a Friday evening.
The bar initially opened in March to a slow start, but- thanks to social media marketing and word of mouth- things picked up exponentially, much to Randy’s surprise and delight. “For the first couple of months, everyone who came could be traced to a few people – you were either friends with this one or that one, and that was it. I started losing track of how people found us – people would tell me ‘I heard about it from my friend Bob, his friend Steve was here last week’ – and I didn’t know any of them. We didn’t plan any of that. The people that came explicitly because of the Styx connection started showing up in greater numbers in the past couple of months – not sure why it took a while, but that was a huge treat for us.”
Just as the Paradise gained real momentum, its closing became imminent. As Randy tell it, “We had planned to end it when Andy left (LA) all along, but given its increasing popularity we probably would have had to end it soon anyway. I guess the lesson is that this kind of thing has a pretty fixed life span.”
Randy’s future as a mixologist is uncertain, but his commitment to keeping the memory of the Paradise alive continues- former patrons and fellow Styx aficionados
are encouraged to join him at the 4100 Bar on Friday night in tribute. After all, their jukebox is loaded with 152 Styx songs.