Lock Picking at Greenbar Distillery - Atlas Obscura

Los Angeles, California

Lock Picking at Greenbar Distillery

Pick the brain of a security expert in this mind-bending, hands-on workshop.

Despite it's commonly assumed purpose for illicit activities, the act and craft of lock picking is actually considered a recreational pastime—legal in most states. So what better way to spend an afternoon than learning a new skill that may or may not come in handy one day? 

Join Atlas Obscura for an introduction to the world of lock picking from Bill Ragsdale, a master of the oft-misunderstood craft. You'll watch an instructional video, followed by a round of trivia testing your knowledge on aspects and tricks of the trade. Set in the Arts District's Greenbar Distillery, the event includes a hands-on exercise analyzing the mechanism and operation of a traditional padlock, with a demonstration of how to use different tools to open it.

As a special treat, you'll get the opportunity to pick the brains (pun intended) of the team at Greenbar Distillery, who will do a short presentation about the history of their company. You'll also get to take home a professional set of lock picks, a plastic practice lock, instruction manuals, and a CD with guided video. 

Bill Ragsdale has decades of experience as a locksmith, working in Las Vegas' gambling industry manufacturing high-security lock products and as the head of his own company supplying electronic door controls.


  • This is 21 and over event.
  • Due to the nature of the event, interaction with other attendees is necessary
  • There are challenges throughout the event to test and try your skills with a little competitive spirit. 
  • All knowledge acquired during the event is to be used by guests for recreational purposes only. 


Email field agent Siegfried Tieber at sigi.tieber@atlasobscura.com.

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