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2014's Best New Cocktail Bars In OC

cocktail bartender 610 header
(credit: Shutterstock)

Looking for a new watering hole to grab a drink and hang out with friends? These new Orange County bars offer a variety of unique venues from which to choose. Totally rock out at an '80s bar or obtain a secret password to a speakeasy. Whatever your style or mood dictates, there is a brand new bar nearby to meet your needs.

SOCIAL Costa Mesa
(credit: Hughes Hoang)

512 W. 19th St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
(949) 642-2425

With a long list of signature drinks created by an elite team of mixologists, Social Costa Mesa is a hot new hub for dining and cocktails. Social's dinner menu includes dozens of domestic and imported wines, but what makes it unique is the creation of its own syrups for one-of-a-kind cocktails. With a drink for virtually any kind of spirit, the drink specialists at Social have generated a robust list of cocktails sure to please any guest, and the fantastic food menu, with burgers, pork chops and seafood rolls, will leave you feeling satisfied.

Costa Mesa 55 Tavern and Bowl
(credit: Julian Andrade of Still Architectural Photography)

Costa Mesa 55 Tavern and Bowl
1875 Newport Blvd.
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
(949) 438-2320

Tavern and Bowl is a perfect place to blow off some steam with friends while enjoying a great cocktail or the wide selection of hand-crafted beers. Tavern and Bowl is a classic sports bar and bowling alley, but don't let that fool you. The food is modern and upscale, and the service is excellent. There is also an outstanding happy hour menu, and participants on trivia night get happy hour prices all night. With clean facilities, gluten-free and vegan menu items and deluxe desserts, Tavern and Bowl is definitely not your average bowling alley.

Totally 80's bar and grille yelp
(credit: Rosel O./Yelp)

Totally 80s Bar and Grille
2512 W. Orangethorpe Ave.
Fullerton, CA 92833
(714) 879-0108

For a totally radical time drinking with friends, Totally 80s Bar and Grille is a great place to go. As if downtown Fullerton could not get any cooler, this brand new '80s-themed bar brings you back to the 80s with music and artwork that will bring you back. In fact,
this is the only club/bar that has wall to wall original florescent artwork which literally jumps of the wall with movement due to the low pressure neon paint and uv lighting. While there is food served, Totally 80s has more of a club feeling to it with lots of dancing and live DJs. Every Sunday is karaoke night for all of the former Madonna-wannabes, so throw back a drink, grab the mic and enjoy a blast from the past.

Related: Best Bars To Get Local Beer In OC

blind rabbit bar - "Bitterly good" cocktail drink

The Blind Rabbit
440 S. Anaheim Blvd.
Anaheim, CA 92807

The first rule about The Blind Rabbit is that you don't talk about The Blind Rabbit. Tucked away behind a nondescript wall of Japanese beer kegs, this upscale speakeasy has a smart casual dress code, requires reservations via email and has a 90-minute time limit, creating the feeling of involvement in something exciting and covert, just like during the Prohibition. A long list of trademark cocktails, including the 12 Mile Limit and the Kicking Mule, will help you decompress, and the food menu is exquisite. For a different kind of date night, the Blind Rabbit is an exciting new option.

casa bar costa mesa
(credit: CASA)

820 W. 19th St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

Tucked away off the beaten path sits Casa, a new speakeasy in Costa Mesa with a lengthy list of libations. Casa's claim to fame is the expertise of its mixologists and their creative cocktails and stellar service. Reservations for Casa can be made via email, and are confirmed via text message, which will provide a password for entry. This cozy bar has a dress code and live music, making it perfect for a date or small get together with friends.

Related: OC's Best Bars For Birthday Celebrations

David McDonald is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. His work can be found on


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