Observing the cocktail hour is a perennial activity in Palm Springs. Although happy hours are always in demand, there are now more options for the late-night crowd seeking places to hang out and imbibe a well-crafted cocktail, craft beer or select wine or two. Here are five state-of-the-art spots for modern drinking.
AMIGO ROOM AT THE ACE HOTEL + SWIM CLUB PALM SPRINGS
The Ace Palm Springs celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2019 along with its desert saloon meets retro-dive bar the Amigo Room. The beat goes on here almost every night via DJ sets, live music, comedy, karaoke and tarot card readings (on Mystic Mondays, of course). The Amigo Room was among the first venues in Palm Springs to promote local and regional craft beers; there’s a rotating selection of 14 beers on tap, and an eclectic bar-bites menu.
701 E. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs, acehotel.com
Paul Bar is an unusual hangout: the location is out-of-the-way in a ripe-for-renewal strip mall in North Palm Springs, the look is dark and moody with a vintage wood back bar, the cocktails are classic and the menu is a curated selection of comfort food where meatloaf Mondays reign. “I wanted to create an adult bar,” says owner Paul O’Halloran, a former New Yorker and hospitality vet. His boozy frozen Sidecar cocktail is a hit. It blends bourbon, orange liqueur, fresh lemon juice and agave syrup for a smashing, sweet and sour, 21+ only slushie.
3700 E. Vista Chino, paulbarps.com
Landlocked within the retro Caliente Tropics Hotel, the Reef bar and lounge owes much to ersatz Pacific Island culture. Vibrant Hawaiian print shirts and layers of kitschy décor soften the setting, delivering a comfortable and exotic atmosphere, promises owner Rory Snyder. The Reef’s Mai Tai — made from the traditional ingredients of lime and dark rum — is the bar’s best seller followed by the Palm Springs Punch, a signature blend of spiced rum, triple sec, orange and pineapple juice boosted by Crème de Noyaux. Early happy-hour specials run 1-6 p.m. Sunday-Friday.
411 E. Palm Canyon Dr., thereefpalmsprings.com
Find Seymour’s behind an unmarked door in Mr. Lyons Steakhouse. The artfully lit bar is a step into a timeless lounge decorated with art curios, vintage leather-covered books and framed illustrations of old fashioned gents. There’s a private patio with bocce court for cocktails under the stars; inside are the accouterments of specialty cocktails and Palm Springs’ most comfortable bar stools, says co-owner Steen Bojsen-Møller. He recommends the Thyme After Thyme, Gem & Bolt mezcal infused with medicinal herb damiana, thyme liqueur and topped with a sprig of thyme.
233 E. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs, seymoursps.com
V WINE LOUNGE
Sit back outside or at the bar at the recently opened V Wine Lounge. More than 85 wines by the glass from California and international boutique winemakers are the attraction along with mid-century modern cocktails and craft beer. Located in Kaptur Plaza, the lounge is on Tahquitz Canyon Way across from Regal Cinemas, handy for a pre- or post- screening respite. Happy hour is from 4-7 p.m. weekdays; 3-6 p.m. weekends. Expect varietals from approachable California chardonnays to more out-of-the-ordinary choices such as Semillon, Albarino and petite syrah.
600 E. Tahquitz Canyon, Kaptur Plaza. vwinelounge.com