HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >

Discussion

What's a dive bar in LA or OC on the current scene that Mr. Bukowski would not feel out of place at if deigned to enter the joint ?????????????????????????

  • k

thanks.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Frank & Hanks
    Bar 107
    The Drawing Room
    Ye Rustic Inn
    The Roost
    St. Nick's
    The Down & Out
    Whitehorse Inn

    1 Reply
    1. Indian Room or Rebels in San Pedro where he used to live

      1 Reply
      1. re: Ernie

        Thanks Ernie, the Indian Room sounds like my cup of tea, er my snifter of whiskey.

      2. Assuming you mean Charles Bukowski the author, I'd say he wouldn't go to a bar. He was married to a health nut and had a Buddhist funeral.

        Also, maybe you haven't noticed, but your Question Mark key appears to be broken.

        7 Replies
        1. re: boogiebaby

          Actually, Bukowski was a notoriously heavy drinker (and alcohol features in many of his stories) for most of his life. And yes, he did spend time in bars, as well.

          Kevin, I'm not sure where he'd hang out, to be honest, but it's an interesting question.

          1. re: boogiebaby

            Erm... Are you at all familiar with his work?

            Saddest.

            Snark.

            Ever.

            1. re: boogiebaby

              Sorry, I got my writers mixed up. Should have paid more attention in Lit. Class. Although I did get the Buddhist funeral part right!

              1. re: boogiebaby

                "Assuming you mean Charles Bukowski the author, I'd say he wouldn't go to a bar. He was married to a health nut and had a Buddhist funeral."

                That was funny :)

                1. re: boogiebaby

                  Charles Bukowski went to bars plenty!
                  We held Salons at our house every Sunday,
                  shared his "Days Run Away Like Wild Horses"(poetry) and really enjoyed it! Actually it made us quite raucous.(rhymes/goes with Charles?) We contacted Black Sparrow press and got in touch with Charles. Incredibly, many Sundays later and after much writing and cajoling, he came to our Sunday Salon in Palos Verdes, of all the places!
                  We ALL drank alot.

                2. Chez Jay in Santa Monica..good food too!

                  1. Smogcutter on Virgil is purported to be an actual Bukowski hangout though the provenance is questionable.

                    Not as cheap as it looks, but the karaoke is loose and the thai bartenders wield a reputation for unpredictable behavior.

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: mrgreenbeenz

                      That's the joint that's next door almost to Sqirl right ?????

                      1. re: kevin

                        Kevin, quit fucking around. Get in your car. Drive directly to the Double Down http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/888066 in Vegas and hoist one (or better yet, 5 or 10) to Bukowski

                        1. re: Servorg

                          kevin, quit fucking around and hoist a few to a better poet.
                          go drink where lord byron or elizabeth bishop or someone drank.

                          1. re: linus

                            You know full well I can't just drive and afford to go to England on the drop of a dime.

                            1. re: linus

                              linus - yes but did Lord Byron or Elizabeth Bishop ever write a poem about the garbage men making a horrendous racket emptying the trash cans of all their 'dead soldiers' during a really nasty hangover, as the workers griped: "man they are some powerful drinkers in there"

                              1. re: hill food

                                william blake, he ain't.

                                to each their own.

                        2. re: mrgreenbeenz

                          It hasn't been the same since Sunshine left. Is the old man who eats dried shrimp at the bar still there?

                        3. Hand's down - Class of '47 on the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach.

                          Class of '47
                          209 Palm St
                          Newport Beach, CA 92661

                          Phone number (949) 675-5774

                          1. the bar at the Silver Spoon in West Hollywood.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: medrite

                              Amen! Sniff....now Connie and Ted's. Maybe you'd better hurry.

                              1. re: chewbacca

                                Bummer! Shows you how long it's been since I was there. And obviously I haven't tried Connie & Ted's yet...but I have a feeling it's not a Charles Bukowski kind of place.

                              1. Bukowski wouldn't be caught dead anywhere "on the current scene." That said: Boardner's or the Powerhouse in H'wood come to mind.

                                15 Replies
                                1. re: jesstifer

                                  Nice call. Also Frolic Room and White Horse.

                                  1. re: jesstifer

                                    White Horse, yes. Frolic Room has gotten more hipstery lately, with the establishment of the Pantages as a legit theater spot. Gets swamped with pre- and post-theater crowds. Doesn't bother me personally, but CB would prolly avoid, except for antemeridian imbibing. ;-)

                                    1. re: jesstifer

                                      There's a drawing of Bukowski on the wall in the FR. And believe me, it ain't hipster on a weekday afternoon. They used to have Bukowski readings on Monday nights several years ago.

                                      Also:
                                      Monte Carlo on 3rd & Vermont
                                      Smog Cutter (already mentioned)
                                      Club Reseda

                                      1. re: lil mikey

                                        all this anti-h**sterism is really just another form of h**sterism.
                                        if appreciating senor bukowski ain't h**ster i'm the paraclete of caborca.

                                        1. re: linus

                                          What's a paraclete de caboerca ?????

                                          Thanks.

                                          1. re: kevin

                                            It is the "Fool for Christ," "Parakleet of Kaborka," "Wrath of the Lamb," and "Angel of the Bottomless Pit".

                                            1. re: Servorg

                                              Power to the Impotent! Power to the Impotent!

                                                    1. re: foodiemahoodie

                                                      One of these days I'm going to release the kraken, and that will be it for our literal minded posters! ;-D>

                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                        What was the movie referenced for some of us not so smart hounds ????

                                                        Thanks buddy.

                                                        1. re: kevin

                                                          I love, love, love the late lamented George C. Scott.

                                                          The movie referenced is "The Hospital".

                                                          http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067217/q...

                                                        2. re: Servorg

                                                          Servorg, are you not resorting to the exact thing which you suggest releasing the kraken to halt?

                                                    2. re: Servorg

                                                      The Hospital.

                                                      Didn't remember that my main man, Paddy, wrote it.

                                          2. There is a pretty new bar dedicated to Charles Bukowski. So if you're a fan, head over to Barkowski on Pico in Santa Monica.

                                            It's not a dive bar. Except for the food - which is the stuff you get at true, down and out dive bars - frozen burritos heated up in a microwave.

                                            A lot of pics of Bukowski around the place. And a flat screen with pithy quotations.

                                            9 Replies
                                            1. re: foodiemahoodie

                                              I'm sure Barkowski is fine and meant as a homage, but I can't help but suspect it's a bit Disney-fied like "Harvey's" (for Harvey Milk) in SF or the old "Croce's" in SD.

                                              1. re: foodiemahoodie

                                                Sorry, but that place is a frickin' abomination AND it's in Santa Monica, a place Hank actively railed against.

                                                1. re: JeMange

                                                  Yeah, I got that part from many. It's just your garden variety hipster bar emblazoned with the name of Hank, he's probably rolling over one over his named used with a highfalutin joint.

                                                  1. re: JeMange

                                                    Agree. Not a drop of hard liquor in "Barkowski". It's a beer/wine/soju license only. Bukowski would not approve.

                                                    1. re: larapidrider

                                                      Soju is a distilled spirit, i.e. "hard liquor." Why can it be sold with a beer/wine license? What am I missing?

                                                      1. re: Tripeler

                                                        From Wikipedia:

                                                        "The liquor licensing laws in the states of California and New York specifically exempt the sale of soju from regulation relating to the sale of other distilled spirits, allowing businesses with a beer/wine license to sell it without requiring the more expensive license required for other distilled spirits.

                                                        The only stipulation is that the soju must be clearly labeled as such and contain less than 25% alcohol. This has led to the appearance in the United States of many soju-based equivalents of traditional Western mixed drinks normally based on vodka or similar spirits, such as the soju martini and the soju cosmopolitan.

                                                        Another consequence is that the manufacturers of similar distilled spirits from other parts of Asia, such as Japanese shōchū, have begun to relabel their products as soju for sale in those regions."

                                                        1. re: Servorg

                                                          Servorg -- Thanks for this. I had no ideas the laws had been bent this way. The funny thing is that nearly all the Korean soju I have had has been totally undistinguished, while the very good shochu of Japan rivals single-malt scotch in depth of flavor and quality. These are usually 25% alcohol, as well.

                                                    2. re: JeMange

                                                      Agree, Bukowski would not approve of a bar with no hard liquor.

                                                      1. re: larapidrider

                                                        wha??? did the owners never crack a book of his (and a fifth?)

                                                        I used to keep his poetry in the bathroom for 'difficult' mornings - for that self-satisified realization: "heck I don't have it THAT bad"

                                                  2. Daily Pint, maybe. But it's usually overrun by college students. Circle Bar, maybe - but they have a dj sometimes. Chez Jay, maybe - but it's brighter in there now than it used to be.

                                                    6 Replies
                                                    1. re: yogachik

                                                      Chez Jay is usually my bar of choice.

                                                      I'm think the now defunct The Joker on Pico might have been right up his alley.

                                                      1. re: yogachik

                                                        Cool old school bar, but I don't think Bukowski would hang out there. He said the city of Santa Monica was a "disease"

                                                          1. re: kevin

                                                            Don't over think it, the bars Hank used to hang out in were the one's that he could walk to. Park in any substandard LA area and take a walk.

                                                              1. re: Servorg

                                                                What's that ? Where's the location on that one Seceog ?????

                                                                Thanks budddyyyy.

                                                        1. ahhh the buk....back in the late 70s/early80's frances smith (wife? though i read they never married) and her daughter(marina ?) would frequent the "brandwine cafe" (santa monica) for breakfast / lunch...they were looked on as "royality"..i think he would have joined them..

                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: wolf

                                                            OMG! Thanks, Wolf. We have been trying to remember the name of the Brandywine for a few weeks now! It came up in nostalgic reverie with friends, and we tend toward 'senior moments'.
                                                            But it was further south on Lincoln Blvd, in Venice, I believe.
                                                            Thanks again, it was our hangout in the early and mid '70s,
                                                            along with Felini's on Melrose.

                                                            1. re: VenusCafe

                                                              FWIW, Brandywine was a split off from Cafe Figaro on Melrose.

                                                              1. re: mc michael

                                                                indeed...what a trip...worked in both places

                                                              2. re: VenusCafe

                                                                pier & lincoln..still in santa monica..the border of venice is rose i think.3 or so blocks south

                                                            2. Who is Mr. Bukowski? I guess I'm not Dennis Miller.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. Perhaps the OP needs to find a place that Tom Waits has spent a fair amount of time in....

                                                                7 Replies
                                                                1. re: Tripeler

                                                                  Yes. Tom Waits' bars would be great too.

                                                                  1. re: kevin

                                                                    I saw Waits perform once at McCabe's, but that's not what you are looking for. He was drinking from a tall can of Coors, I think. This was circa "Heart of Saturday Night" on which he name checks Napoleone's Pizza House.
                                                                    http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/27/313413... He used to go to Duke's as I recall, but it's closed. Maybe 101 Cafe at the base of the hills.

                                                                    1. re: mc michael

                                                                      Lucky. One of my all time favorite albums.

                                                                      1. re: schrutefarms

                                                                        For that Waits persona you can't beat it.

                                                                  2. re: Tripeler

                                                                    yeah except if his songs are at all biographical Waits would be just fine shivering in a broken down car somewhere that's nowhere with a fifth of cheap cheap whiskey.

                                                                    or a whorehouse in Bangkok.

                                                                    1. re: hill food

                                                                      Tom Waits is sober these days, I think.

                                                                      1. re: JeMange

                                                                        I've heard conflicting accounts on that, but lean towards believing the sober ones.

                                                                  3. This is vintage Bukowski. Note the reference to Grand Central Market. http://allpoetry.com/poem/8509521-Cru...
                                                                    At a certain point, his publisher, Black Sparrow, began taking his raw notebooks and dividing the words into poems. Bukowski did get paid for this.
                                                                    Posthumously, the publisher has been publishing "new" works but they have been bowlderized.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. Casey's Tavern in Canoga Park perhaps...it's an old school dive bar with real cheap prices, like $3 cocktails and not for happy hour a few hours a day..not one of these wanna be dive bars with high end prices. At least last time I went a couple years back probably...Only thing though is they had a 'no swearing' policy..not sure if that would go over to well with Bukowski..

                                                                      They do actually have a small library though..so he'd probably appreciate that perhaps.

                                                                      http://www.yelp.com/biz/caseys-tavern...

                                                                      Another one that might work is Scene in North Hollywood..not sure if he hung out in the valley at all though...but it's definitely divey...with a pretty rough crowd ,very cheap drinks . No hipsters in sight at least when I went. The hipsters in North Hollywood seem to stick to the NoHo arts district..

                                                                      http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-scene-nor...

                                                                      One comment from a yelper just last month (not sure if it's true or not

                                                                      )

                                                                      "ewww ewwww ewwwww ewwwww I saw a bald guy peeing inside the bar on the floor health department wake your ass up and stop by the scene"

                                                                      1. I'm pretty sure that in a few different books he's mentioned drinking at Barneys Beanery. The West Hollywood one. Although I'm not sure if you are looking for a bar Bukowski actually drank in. If you just want a seedy, divey bar, I would recommend The Frolic Room, The White Horse, The Drawing Room, and Powerhouse. (Incidentally, Powerhouse is where all the off-duty "charactors" from Hollywood Blvd go to drink. It's awesome.)

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: schrutefarms

                                                                          Scrutes , let me know if you would like to grab a drink.

                                                                          My emails in the old page.

                                                                        2. King Eddy Saloon. A place where he actually hung out .

                                                                          http://kingeddysaloon.com/

                                                                          Haven't been here since it's been hipped up. (new owners I think).

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: foodiemahoodie

                                                                            The King Eddy has been hipsterized by at least 90%. I can just picture Hank wading through there, arms swinging at dilettantes, glass of cheap sherry in one hand, fist full of bruised knuckle in the other.

                                                                          2. Perhaps the answer to where Bukowski would drink is in this book.

                                                                             
                                                                            1. I miss Del's Saloon, pre that movie with Katherine Heigel. We'd play whiskey darts while odd characters who'd been drinking there for years chuckled at the bad karaoke singers. It was the best. Can't get myself to set foot in there now that it's Mom's.

                                                                              I'll also toss out The Gold Room. It's too dark for my liking, but I ignore that b/c of the free peanuts. And the strong drinks.

                                                                              1. I just had a memory from my days working at the LA Times former location in Santa Ana, Orange County.

                                                                                It was Oktorberfest, and my co-workers jollied me into going along with them to some place in Old World, Huntington Beach.

                                                                                There was music (the chicken dance) and there was beer, of course, but I remember at some part of the evening somewhere else, the guys were playing darts and the girls with them had taken off their pants and their undies had a message printed on them, "Been There, Done That, Go Ahead".

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: Gypsy Jan

                                                                                  Jan, it sounds like my kind of joint.

                                                                                2. The Stave in LB (not divey tho)
                                                                                  The Interlude in LB (oldest bar in the city)

                                                                                  1. someone finally mentioned Frank & Hanks, I see. Decent prices but some cocktails are too high $ although the owner does double pour.

                                                                                    I'll add HMS Bounty - for the complete mixture of people and cheap prices.

                                                                                    And Al's Cocktails in SGV. Get your grub on at Newport Seafood across the street and come after - or before as you wait an hour in line to eat. 2 cheap and excellent places in one area.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: dharmathug

                                                                                      Erm... I mentioned Frank & Hanks in the first line of the first reply to this post.

                                                                                    2. The Buc! The Buccaneer in Sierra Madre.... That was one of our go to dives when I lived & worked on the east side..... Ah, good times. My husband even got into a fight there, defending my honor!

                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                        That's awesome. :)

                                                                                        You will have to explain the story in its entirety at a later date.

                                                                                        1. Thought of another one: Hank's in the Stillwell Hotel downtown. My then boyfriend/soon to be fiancé took me there one lunch hour, while he worked nearby at 7th & Fig. It was apparently the go to spot after work for many of his coworkers and others in the area. Food was forgettable, but the dingy speakeasy atmosphere was legendary....

                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                            Is Hanks still there ?

                                                                                            Was it in a dilapidated SRO hotel ????

                                                                                            If so, it may just be my cup of tea, or whiskey rather.

                                                                                            1. re: kevin

                                                                                              Yes. I assume it's still there, but can't say I've been since the late nineties......

                                                                                              1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                                Dirty sexy olives,

                                                                                                It sounds exceptional.

                                                                                                They even got the old cash register.

                                                                                                But that's a ritzy part of DTLA so no clue if it will be divey enough for me for my divey requirement.

                                                                                                There's a lot of drinking to be done due to this thread.

                                                                                                And that ain't a joke.

                                                                                                1. re: kevin

                                                                                                  : )

                                                                                                  I'm sure it's hasn't changed a bit.....trust me, it's divey enough....

                                                                                                  1. re: kevin

                                                                                                    Was there a few months back - after X played in Pershing Square - and had a great time.

                                                                                                    Heavy pours of middling whisky and bottled domestic beer.

                                                                                                    Oh yeah!

                                                                                                    1. re: JeMange

                                                                                                      oh I love X! I'd hang with Exene any old time (friends have and say she's a sweetheart - I only met her briefly once and seemed awfully genuine)

                                                                                                      1. re: hill food

                                                                                                        I love X as well. I seem to recall reading that Exene moved out to suburbian OC.

                                                                                            2. Dredging up memories, many moons ago I worked for a newspaper named "The Ventura County and Harbor News".

                                                                                              The offices were on the second floor above a bar at the end of a cul-de-sac in the Channel Islands Harbor.

                                                                                              In the best of all possible worlds, shouldn't all newspaper offices be above a bar?

                                                                                              Anyhoo, when I arrived for work in the morning, there was always a line of off-shore oil derrick workers waiting outside the bar for it to open so they could get coffee and a shot before getting on the water taxi to work.

                                                                                              The bar sponsored volleyball tournaments on the court it had just outside its doors on the sand.

                                                                                              I went downstairs one day after work only for a beer and avoided the disgusting pickled eggs and pigs feet, to watch the volleyball tournament.

                                                                                              A very large man kept bumping into me and then apologizing.

                                                                                              Someone pulled me aside and whispered in my ear, "He was just released on bail for murder charges!'

                                                                                              I got the hell out of there right then.

                                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: Gypsy Jan

                                                                                                "I got the hell out of there right then."

                                                                                                One might say you "bailed" (g)

                                                                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                  Yeah I did and you are way more funny than I am!

                                                                                                  :)

                                                                                                  1. re: Gypsy Jan

                                                                                                    I see something and fire away...it's been both a blessing and a curse my whole life...but it's not going to change at this late stage. And I liked your story very much.

                                                                                                    1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                      Yes I liked your story too. And it reminds me that Tucks Point used to be there too.

                                                                                                      Is your bar still there ????

                                                                                                      Sevrog is our resident master of the puns.

                                                                                                      1. re: kevin

                                                                                                        I don't know, haven't been back for a long time.

                                                                                                        We lent our garage to a local grunge band so they could practice - we were far enough away from the neighbors that that nobody complained, or maybe they just didn't mind.

                                                                                                        It was a very Bohemian neighborhood in those days - professors, writers and poets.

                                                                                                        There was a coffee-house selling second-hand furniture, home accessories and other used items and it was also a bookstore with a reading room (couches and comfy chairs!) that served afternoon tea with all the flourishes.

                                                                                                        It was a fun time.

                                                                                                      2. re: Servorg

                                                                                                        Yes, we feel cursed too.... ;D)
                                                                                                        I have great sympathy for your poor wife......

                                                                                                        1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                                          I've been kicked under the table so many times over the years my shins are permanently black and blue...

                                                                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                            No wonder why this curmudgeon never shows up to the Chow Meets. :)

                                                                                                2. More on (not a "moron" pun)

                                                                                                  I was hired for an executive job at the LA Times.

                                                                                                  The editor had a special phone that was direct wired to the Redwood Room across the street, so he could order up bourbon Old Fashioned cocktails when he was in the mood.

                                                                                                  The Redwood Room is still in business, last I heard, but I am not sure about the continuing existence of the Red Line to the editor's desk.

                                                                                                  1. To be honest, I know (all too well) some worthy destinations. At this time, 20 years after his death, the numerous "dive-lists" don't qualify. Not so much because of the bars themselves, but because of the LISTS and the inherit awareness they create with those who make the journey. No such 'lists' existed, nor were responsible for Bukowski's personal choice in locations. I think most would agree, a current-day-version of Bukowski would not consider such lists.

                                                                                                    I mention this not for personal worth or recognition. I say this as a person who has lived in the area most of my life and who, for the past 12 years, drinks every day.. with the exception of half a dozen occasions of travel to destinations which excluded any possibility of even a half pint of bottom-shelf whatever.

                                                                                                    Sad? Sure!
                                                                                                    Real. You bet!
                                                                                                    Regret. Nah!

                                                                                                    Bottom line. To those who truly want to experience the quintessential Bukowski bar: Go find it yourself. Somewhere new and where you are required to earn respect over time. Respect from those who struggle and need to a place to call home. Just as you might need something similar yourself. Until then, most locations will just be any other bar. Not a place with a sense of "home" and acceptance.

                                                                                                    If I were to be area-specific, I say ... Go south of L.A.
                                                                                                    I love living dtla and before in Los Feliz.... but honestly most dive bar lists serve a different purpose. Usually for a weekend out or on a new date.
                                                                                                    I say ..take it south of the 10 freeway. Inglewood & SS. If not, then keep going .. Gardena, LB, San Pedro, etc. Places where people keep it real and person needs to earn their keep. You'll know when you find it.

                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: 100percent

                                                                                                      and avoid places with too many windows.

                                                                                                      1. re: hill food

                                                                                                        Yes. A dive bar don't need no sun.

                                                                                                        And no food of course.

                                                                                                        1. re: kevin

                                                                                                          yes if the good lord intended for us to drink under the noonday sun, the inspiration for Venetian blinds would never have occurred.

                                                                                                          in DC the bars have to have the capability of cooking, not that they ever do actually cook. but one night we were in a dark musty few window place saw the grill and begged them for a burger. I'm quite sure everything was long frozen and the grill hadn't been scraped, much less cleaned, in years.

                                                                                                          bartender: "OK but cash only and don't ever ask again". but damn if it wasn't fantastic.

                                                                                                          1. re: kevin

                                                                                                            Except perhaps the odd jar of pickled eggs...

                                                                                                          1. re: jesstifer

                                                                                                            Thanks for reminding me. I think I read it the Saturday paper.

                                                                                                            1. re: jessejames

                                                                                                              yeah, i read that a few weeks ago, but i don't think i could post at the time.

                                                                                                            2. finally tried The Interlude a couple times, and it's a dump but kind of a lovable one, super cheap prices too, think black label for a five spot. not too shabby.