“Drinking is in the Heart”


Saturday, November 9, 2013

How many people exhibited objects?


How many people came but did not bring objects?



Posted by Pop Up Museum Facilitator Zealand Reynolds

What was it about?

If there’s a single unifying thread to Santa Cruz history, it’s that locals have always liked to drink, belly up to the bar, and more. There’s an underworld to Santa Cruz history—including speakeasies, brothels, rum-running during Prohibition and more. Locals gather with drink in hand to learn and reminisce about the history of drinking in Santa Cruz.

How did it go?

On Saturday the Pop Up Museum took on a favorite local pastime. With the help of Geoffrey Dunn and the Red Restaurant and Bar, we explored how Drinking is in Santa Cruz’s Heart. Presently, Santa Cruz is fairly well recognized for its craft brews and plethora of vineyards, but this history stretches back over a hundred years. Not only is the boozy history of Santa Cruz long, it’s also rather tumultuous.

In the low lighting of the bar, visitors examined bottles excavated by Dunn himself from old structures in the city. The bottles came in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes, made to hold an even wider variety of alcohols. The bottles included a delicate hand blown glass flask to hold whiskey, a nondescript brown bottle for moonshine, and a teal bottle with the stopper enclosed in the body of the bottle. Set next to the bottles were signs and trays from the original Santa Cruz Brewery, which used to be located on Mission Hill from 1890 until prohibition. Other local legends, such as The Teacup and Bargetto’s Vineyard were also represented in the display through labels and menus.

While the artifacts were fun to look at, the real attention grabbers were articles from the Santa Cruz Sentinel stretched out over several tables. These gems not only highlighted the history of drinking in the area but showed the local effects of prohibition. Throughout the clippings many recognizable names are connected to raids and seizures of liquor, fights, and rum running.

While initially the interest was on the objects being displayed, soon visitors were clustered around tables in small groups, discussing what they saw or reading the enticing articles. This pop up, and Drinking in Santa Cruz, brought people from across the community together for a shared experience and some good old fashioned fun.


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