paloma resort lounge cathedral city

Knock Knock

Speakeasies savor a sweet resurgence in the desert.

Jessica Ritz Current Guide, Restaurants

paloma resort lounge cathedral city

Poca Sombra is located at The Paloma Resort's Sol y Sombra restaurant in Cathedral City.

Poca Sombra

Cathedral City

“Poca Sombra is intended to feel like a personal discovery, [designed] for people who enjoy the feeling of attaining an experience that’s not available to everyone,” restaurateur Chad Gardner says. The newly opened venue is located at The Paloma Resort’s Sol y Sombra restaurant in Cathedral City and was developed by Gardner with partners Tim and Amy Brinkman of LIT, a Bay Area–based hospitality group.


The bar is open to the public — but it requires a little know-how to locate the unmarked poolside entrance. The tequila-focused bar offers a long list of agave-based spirits, ranging from known labels to small producers. An evolving cocktail menu includes the Naked & Famous, composed of mezcal, Chartreuse, and Aperol, and the Siesta, with tequila reposado, Chambord, and ginger beer. “Even though speakeasies are no longer an illicit adventure,” Gardner says, “walking into one still feels like being invited behind the curtain.”

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PS Air Bar is cleverly outfitted to relicte a retro commercial airplane cabin.

PS Air

Palm Springs

PS Air is proof positive that when it comes to establishing a theme, it’s best to go all in. In the summer of 2021, Dennis Costa and his team opened this aviation-inspired bar and lounge inside Bouschet, a fine wine and spirits shop. Cleverly outfitted to replicate a retro commercial airplane cabin, PS Air regularly hosts live performances and accommodates approximately 50 guests; yet it still feels intimate and instantly convivial thanks to the unconventional seat configuration and unique experience. Groups of fewer than four will likely be seated facing one another, Costa explains, “so you’re going to be interacting with people that are not in your party.” Popular specialty cocktails include the Turbulence, a spicy margarita made with pineapple and muddled cucumber, and the Red Eye, with grapefruit vodka, grapefruit juice, and hibiscus syrup.


Seymour's in Palm Springs.


Palm Springs

A dark hallway off the buzzy lounge at Mr. Lyons Steakhouse and an unmarked back entrance lead to Seymour’s, a speakeasy operated by F10 Creative. (The hospitality group, founded by Tara Lazar, also launched Cheeky’s, Birba, and the Alcazar hotel, among other beloved gathering spots.) “It has the bones of a great little bar with two entrances, both kind of hidden,” says Seymour’s co-owner Steen Bojsen-Møller. Named in honor of Lazar’s father, a prominent Los Angeles entertainment industry attorney, Seymour’s opened in May 2016. As with the rest of the restaurant, contemporary design elements fuse with chic nods to the past — in this case, vintage caricature prints from Vanity Fair drawn by Sir Leslie Ward that adorn the walls. “All these items come together and give the room a wonderful feeling of nostalgia,” Bojsen-Møller says. “People like stumbling across a hidden gem.” What to drink? Try the Little Owl, made with rye whiskey, IPA syrup, walnut liqueur, and Angostura Amaro.

• READ NEXT: Best Transportation Options to Explore Greater Palm Springs.