Good Times at Davey Wayne's

Bars, Dive bars Hollywood
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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(12user reviews)
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 (Photograph: Jakob N. Layman)
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Good Times at Davey Wayne's
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Good Times at Davey Wayne's
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Good Times at Davey Wayne's
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Good Times at Davey Wayne's
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Good Times at Davey Wayne's
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Good Times at Davey Wayne's
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Good Times at Davey Wayne's
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Good Times at Davey Wayne's
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Good Times at Davey Wayne's
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Good Times at Davey Wayne's
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Good Times at Davey Wayne's
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Good Times at Davey Wayne's
 (Photograph: Frank Ishman)
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Photograph: Frank Ishman
Smoke on the Water at Good Times at Davey Wayne's
 (Photograph: Frank Ishman)
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Photograph: Frank Ishman
Fuzzy Britches and Some People Call Me Maurice at Good Times at Davey Wayne's
 (Photograph: Frank Ishman)
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Photograph: Frank Ishman
Regal Beagle and Eric Be Good at Good Times at Davey Wayne's

Jonnie and Mark Houston, the twin brothers behind Houston Hospitality, have a reputation for pushing the envelope. Whether it’s the Parisian burlesque thrills of Pour Vous or the cinematic hotel speakeasy that is No Vacancy, the Houstons go beyond providing mere drinking establishments, creating intricate worlds in which we beg to get lost.

Their latest venture, Good Times at Davey Wayne’s, is no exception, taking us back to the 1970s via an operational garage sale. Outside, the smell of cannabis hangs in the air; a happy circumstance of the neighboring dispensary. After browsing records, clothing and other vintage paraphernalia, you’ll find the portal to this booze-fueled time machine—an old refrigerator. Step through its door and you’re instantly transported to a house party in the era of hard rock, sideburns and shag carpeting. “Where am I?” you might ask. “And whose living room is this?”

From the slate faux fireplace and driftwood coffee table to the hanging pendant lamps and orange/olive color palette, no detail has been spared. Family photos put a face to Davey Wayne, the Houston brothers’ father for whom the bar is named. Vintage beer cans and retro tchotchkes surround the tufted bar, where bartenders whip up craft cocktails with forgotten spirits and draught beer is served in novelty mugs. Outside, sno-cones and tiki drinks are doled out from a repurposed trailer in the “backyard,” where, if you’re lucky, you might catch a rooftop roller show. Dig it.

Vitals

Good for: Retrophiles and pop culture geeks bored by the typical night out, 70s “kids” who missed out on all the fun, and anyone looking to have a good time. Head over early to avoid waiting in line for too long.

The scene: Davey Wayne’s theme pre-dates the existence of most of its patrons, with old-timers largely outnumbered by the under-35 crowd. That doesn’t mean you won’t find fabulous over-40s—expect to hear comparisons to “That 70s Show” peppered with the occasional “This looks like my parent’s house!” Despite its Hollywood locale, the bar’s intimate atmosphere seems to suck the douchiness right out of the air, with strangers happily sharing couches and comparing cocktails with gleeful curiosity. It’s not quite like being a kid again, but it certainly takes you back to your adolescence.

The playlist: In keeping with the scenery, the soundtrack is definitely more Dazed & Confused than Saturday Night Fever, with tunes from Led Zeppelin, The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac to Al Green and Earth, Wind and Fire. Later in the night, from a stage in the corner of the living room, a house band jams out live covers of rock classics without fear of the neighbors complaining.

Bartender says: “Sorry, we’re out of the glass for this.” When the prescribed barware for a certain cocktail runs out—which seems to happen a lot—the resourceful bartenders use whatever else is available, only enhancing the house party illusion. As for the “#1 Dad” beer mugs, the bartenders say they don’t mind if they go missing—in fact, they’d like a mug in “every kitchen in Los Angeles.” We’ll see how long supplies last.

Drink this: All priced at $12, the cocktails at Davey Wayne’s are full of 70s throwbacks, from their delightfully cheesy names right down to their ingredients. The best example of this is the Some People Call Me Maurice, a modern take on the Grasshopper incorporating crème de menthe, crème de cacao and straight-up cream—a trio perhaps best left in the past—with cinnamon-infused mezcal adding an unexpected smokiness. One of these is enough, if only to say you tried it. First place goes to The Regal Beagle, a rum drink with sherry, lime juice and salted pistachio syrup creating the perfect harmony of salty, sour and sweet. Then there’s the unapologetically girly Fuzzy Britches—boasting vodka, orange peel-infused vermouth, crème de peche, peach preserves and orange blossom water, it’s like Farrah Fawcett in a glass. Those with no time to mess around should opt for the Painkiller. Essentially a Pina Colada, it delivers a 3-rum punch that makes good on its name—at least until the next morning.

By: Merin McDonald

Posted:

Venue name: Good Times at Davey Wayne's
Contact:
Address: 1611 N El Centro Ave
Los Angeles
90028
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 5pm-2am; Sat, Sun 2pm-2am
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Average User Rating

4.3 / 5

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LiveReviews|12
3 people listening
Damara P
tastemaker

I didn't want to like this place. It's all the rage in hipster circles and frequently has a crazy long line outside. However, at the coercion of my friends, we ended up here, and I was pleasantly surprised! This bar is like an old guy's back yard/basement, but in the most charming and accessible way. There was music, but it wasn't so loud that I couldn't comfortably talk with my friends (on the outside patio, at least). I didn't get a drink, but all of my friends seemed to readily enjoy there's. Plus, of course, there's the quirk factor of getting into the bar through the refrigerator door. I doubt I'd wait for half an hour to enter this establishment, but if there's no wait, definitely give this place a chance. 

Erin Delahanty
Staff Writer

Being at this bar feels like you're hanging out in your grandparents basement, in the absolute best way possible. Cocktails are great, the atmosphere is laid back and you can't beat that entrance!

Kate W
moderator

I could take or leave the fridge door entrance theatrics, but once inside, this bar is super cute and so fun. The music is always great—'70s hammers all night long—there's a shuffleboard table that's never too packed and a witty menu of inventive cocktails (or cheap beers)... what more could you ask for?! The patio food is also pretty delish.

Michael J
moderator

It's probably not worth waiting in line for—because really, what bar is?—but come here early on a weekday and you'll walk right in to a not-so-crowded bar. The frozen-in-time decor is pretty fantastic and the drinks are pretty good. The crowd... it's kind of a mixed bag, but that's Hollywood, right?

Erin Kuschner
moderator

If you can make it here on a weekday, Davey Wayne's is great - the line isn't too long, the bartenders are attentive and they have a great roster of cocktails. Weekends are a bit of a shit show, though. I like hanging out on the patio and people watching while waiting for the skate show to start. 

Eric L
tastemaker

Just as the above photo illustrates, enter Davey Wayne's through an old fridge at the back of a mini, faux garage and prepare for 70s decor, memories of your high school house parties, and delicious slushes poured from a repurposed, backyard mobile home.


Similar to Hillary's assessment below, the line is almost ALWAYS beyond absurd past a certain time at night; if you're old and quickly nearing 30 like me, standing in an hour-long line is a no-go, so I'm knocking Davey's one star as well. I'd advise arriving prior to nine or so (I know, I know. Who goes out at 8:30?)


With a great alcohol selection, nostalgic ambiance, and expansive space, Davey's is a curious, fun-filled spot guaranteed to please in one way or another. I promise you will, at the very least, not regret hitting up the backyard mobile home: alcoholic slushies and fantastic food await. Do it!

Hillary Freedman
tastemaker

This is arguably one of the coolest bars in all of LA. The decorations are amazing, the patio is awesome, the music kills and the random performances are super dope. The drinks are pretty good as well. Everyone gets the sno-cone drinks, I do not. It's a gimmick that is great for Instagram/snapchat/to say you've done once but the end up melting and ruining your day so I'm all about a regular vodka cocktail. Unfortunately, I can't give this place 5 stars because it gets WAYYYY too crowded. Like insane. You can't move anywhere and it takes forever to get a drink sometimes. Do not come after 10pm on a weekend or you will wait for longer than an hour. Awesome bar. Needs way more space.

Melissa R
Tastemaker

If I could give this place 10 stars, I would. Davey Wayne’s is hands down one of the best bars in LA I have been to. It offers a different experience every time. The crowd is a pretty good mix I’d say too. Music is all 70s. Who doesn’t love that? You enter through a refrigerator door and in my book nothing bad happens inside a refrigerator. If you haven’t gone to Davey’s yet I would 100% recommend you adding it to your weekend plans now – and say hello bec I might as well live there at this point so there is a 97% chance that I will be there. The truth in that last statement makes me so embarrassed for myself. Oops. Only downfall is the line. Get there early or go on a Sunday afternoon. The vibe is so much more laid back on Sundays – so if that’s your thing do Sunday! Anyways… stop reading. Get up. Embrace your inner flower child. And get your boogie on!

Amanda Jane

Enter through a refrigerator to find a 70's themed mecca serving alcohol infused snow cones and fried grilled cheese sandwiches - need I say more? As other users have said, arrive early and avoid the lines.
All in all, great place to visit.

Cezara P
moderatortastemaker

Great place to go after work for happy hour! The bar reminds me of that 70's show set, so fun! On the weekends there is always a line so it's best to get there before 10PM so you don't have to wait in the line. Overall they have really great drinks, the Moscow mule is my favorite!