This 'Blockbuster Speakeasy' Reimagines the '90s Video Store Experience as a Bar

Your membership card is your drink ticket, just browse classic VHS tapes and bring one to the counter to order your drink.

Blockbuster Speakeasy
Blockbuster Speakeasy. Photo:

Courtesy of BucketListers

Blockbuster Video is one of the most notorious downfalls in modern business history. And yet, people still seem to have a nostalgic affection for the brand. The world’s last remaining Blockbuster store in Bend, Oregon has inspired a documentary film, was rented out as an Airbnb, and this week, will be the setting for a new sitcom (ironically enough, streaming on Netflix).

And that’s not all. Later this month, Blockbuster will be returning to Los Angeles… not as a video store, but as a speakeasy-style pop-up bar that’s officially licensed by the Blockbuster brand (but, for the record, is not affiliated with the new show).

Launching on November 19, the Blockbuster Speakeasy comes courtesy of some very familiar names in the nostalgic pop-up space. It’s a partnership between Bucket Listers — which most recently brought their Golden Girls pop-up restaurant from Los Angeles to New York — and New Gold Empire — which, among many themed projects, may be best known for their Will Ferrell-themed bar, Stay Classy.

RELATED: A Barcelona Speakeasy Topped This Year's 'World's 50 Best Bars' List

This time around, their video rental-themed pop-up promises a decked-out Blockbuster store that "recreates every memory of choosing a movie pre-streaming, while also mixing in a full bar that serves up delicious cocktails and mock-tails." Visitors' Blockbuster "membership card" serves as a drink ticket and the different aisles of movies, which in the past were different genres, are now different categories of drinks.

Blockbuster Speakeasy
Blockbuster Speakeasy.

Courtesy of BucketListers

"Instead of grainy VHS tapes, guests will choose from themed beverages inspired by only the best 90’s and 2000’s movie releases," the announcement states. "Make sure to check out each recipe 'synopsis' on the back before bringing any selection to the checkout counter where a Blockbuster bartender will whip up the libation. The full bar menu will also include throwbacks like Gusher and Yoo Hoo based cocktails, Zima, Vodka & Tab, Crystal Clear Pepsi, Orbitz, and other nostalgic drinks."

Looking for nibbles? The Blockbuster Speakeasy says they will offer a food menu that includes a Grown up Lunchable, a Blockbuster Burger, Please Rewind Truffle Fries, New Release Flatbread & Dips, and the Late Fee Risotto Parmesan Cheese Balls, alongside sweet treats such as a Dunkaroo Ice Cream sundae, Movie Style Popcorn, tableside Toast Your Own Smores, and a Friday Night Rice Krispie Fudge Brownie.

RELATED: This Pop-up Restaurant's Crunchwrap Homage Is So Good, Taco Bell Wants In on a Collaboration

Tickets for the 21-and-over-only experience are on sale now at with a $45 price tag that includes two cocktails. The bar itself will be located at 7174 Melrose Avenue and dates are currently open until February.

And as to whether this pop-up might one day travel to other parts of the country like the Golden Girls Kitchen or Saved by the Max, we’ve been told there are no plans… for now, at least.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles