This is just one part of a series of card tricks Pisciotta calls “time travel,” which he performs for Magic Castle guests between mixing rounds of magic-themed cocktails. The trick is especially appropriate for the setting, which harkens back to vintage Hollywood. But the Magic Castle isn’t simply a themed, Disney-esque reproduction of old Hollywood with gimmicky magicians. Since the Larsen family of magicians opened the club in 1963, the magic institution and home of the Academy of Magical Arts has earned fame for its stage shows by world famous magicians, exclusive AMA members-(and their guests)-only policy, and walls overflowing with relics of bygone magicians. But lately, the Castle has attracted attention (and Supercall’s interest) for a new reason: its drinks program.
For a mansion with five bars (the Salon Bar, the Owl Bar, the Hat and Hare Pub, the W.C. Fields Bar and the Palace Bar), it may come as a surprise that the club long suffered a reputation for bad food and drink. But that all changed about three years ago, when newly hired general manager Joe Furlow and new executive chef Jason Sperber helped transform the Castle’s culinary program. To pair with the new menu of steakhouse-meets-modern-California cuisine, beverage manager Chris Taggart developed a menu of seasonal cocktails. Suddenly, people weren’t just suffering through dinner in order to see a show, but coming specifically for it.