There’s a Secret Speakeasy at This San Diego County Fair
Even though it took two hours of searching, Neil Murphy and Amanda Joyner were more than happy when they finally found their $19 cocktails, a Gold Rush and a Singapore “Vling.”
That’s because the La Mesa couple were sipping their concoctions inside Jade Peacock, the San Diego County Fair’s “secret” new speakeasy. Hidden on the fairgrounds and accessible only via password, the Jade Peacock has been quietly drawing a stream of cocktail-lovers on Friday and Saturday nights since the fair opened on June 2.
Every year, Murphy, 37, and Joyner, 35, buy season passes to the fair and visit multiple times. But they had no idea this year’s fair included a speakeasy, the name for the clandestine cocktail bars that flourished during the Prohibition era.
The couple was trying to find a quality craft cocktail at one of the fair’s outdoor bars without success when a bartender said he’d heard there was a speakeasy at the fairgrounds, but he didn’t know where.
That set Murphy and Joyner on a quest that led them to virtually every drinking establishment at the Del Mar Fairgrounds until they ended up at the Painted Pony, the vintage saloon inside the “Where the West is Fun” themed exhibit. There, the bartender quietly slipped them a card.