Your Hollywood bar crawl guide
This once-ritzy, now-divey former speakeasy in the Pantages Theatre (don't worry, you don't need to see a show to access the bar) is a staple of “Old Hollywood.” Said to be the last place the Black Dahlia was seen alive, the Frolic is a cheap, no-nonsense hole-in-the-wall with a cracking jukebox and some of the most interesting clientele on the strip.
This spot created a huge buzz when it first opened, chiefly because you have to walk through a garage sale and a refrigerator to get into the place. Opened in tribute to the owners’ father, Davey Wayne’s is a tripped out journey back to the burnt orange 70s living room. Make sure to stay for the roller skating show that happens on the patio's roof.
Black is one of Hollywood’s best kept secrets. Tucked away near Santa Monica and Vine, it’s an imposing black cube that looks like an S&M vampire biker bar, but inside is relaxed, divey and smoker-friendly. The fantastic outdoor patio is almost as large as the bar itself and can get pretty lively at the weekends.
Three Clubs is another low-key bar that seems to buck every Hollywood stereotype. This dim, red-licked dive has become one of the great, unpretentious spots in the neighborhood, the drinks are reasonably priced and there’s always live music or burlesque shows going on.
This New Orleans-themed craft cocktail bar from the 1933 nightlife group is an absolutely gorgeous establishment on Vine, just a few blocks after the stars on the sidewalk start to burn off. With fantastic cocktails, great live music and a bar that looks like it’s been reclaimed from a sunken steam boat, Sassafras is one of the best spots to grab a cocktail in the area.