Lock Picking at Greenbar Distillery - Atlas Obscura

Los Angeles, California

Lock Picking at Greenbar Distillery

A hands-on workshop on the fascinating art of lock picking.

This experience is a 90-minute introduction to the art of lock picking, from master Bill Ragsdale. Attendees will watch an instructional video, followed by a game of trivia where they will learn basic aspects and interesting facts about this trade. Next, for the hands-on part of the program, participants will analyze the mechanism and operation of a traditional padlock and use different tools to open it.

As a special treat, the team at Greenbar Distillery will do a short presentation about the history of their company. This is an opportunity to learn about their process and to pick the brain (no pun intended) of one of their in-house experts.

While lock picking might initially be associated with illicit enterprises, it is widely practiced as a recreational activity—legal in most states in this country.

After the experience, attendees will take home:

  • a professional set of lock picks
  • a clear plastic practice lock
  • a CD with four manuals and an hour-long instructional video
  • a 4-page instruction set


Our instructor, Bill Ragsdale, apprenticed with a tinker/locksmith serving rural areas of central California from a mobile lock shop. He worked in Las Vegas at a firm manufacturing high-security lock products to the gambling industry. He then formed a company supplying electronic door controls and ran it for the next twenty-five years.


  • This is 21 and over event.
  • Due to the nature of the event, interaction with other attendees is necessary. 
  • 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.

Stay connected! Subscribe to the Atlas Obscura Society Los Angeles newsletter and join our Facebook group for a first glimpse at upcoming events.

Advance ticket sales only. All sales are final.