Fall has arrived in Los Angeles, and with it, a healthy crop of fresh new bars. The trend this season tilts towards small cocktail lounges, with an emphasis on intimacy. Unless it’s a must DJ gig, big clubs with cover charges are increasingly falling out of favor in L.A. With that in mind, here’s a round up of nine notable new bars in the City of Angels.
Oldfield’s Oldfield’s officially debuted last week in the former Saints & Sinners space on Venice Boulevard, and Culver City locals who have dropped by since can barely believe it’s the same bar. 1933 group owner/designer Bobby Green completely overhauled the room and turned the former dark dive into a 1920s-inspired cocktail haunt. Unlike many similar destinations in L.A., Oldfield’s is bright, thanks to white tile floors and light wooden tables. Name bartenders from establishments such as La Descarga dole out some very tasty drinks here, and locals are already feeling it.
Seventy7 Another Culver City find winning over Angelenos is the speakeasy-esque Seventy7. The bar is located down an alley behind a parking garage, which counts for something in this area, not known for its bars. Weekends can be crowded here, so best to hit this drinking den on a weeknight where you’ll find couples on first dates sipping libations like the already popular Velvet Underground. Extra points for the swank leather booths, but deductions for the cocktail waitresses’ “flapper” outfits.
The Churchill Although this is technically a restaurant, The Churchill (pictured top) is run by the winners behind consistently busy West Hollywood lounge The Hudson, so you can bet on a good late night scene here. The handsome hang has already brought to life the sleepy corner of Orlando & Third Street, beneath the Orlando Hotel, with its bustling patio and a stellar drink menu. So what to order here? Try the bourbon-based Cedar Room, which is served with house-cured bacon. Also, 20 beers doesn’t hurt.
Los Globos The Echo Park youth, with their asymmetrical haircuts and funny glasses, can finally do more than just drive past Los Globos on Sunset Blvd on their way downtown. Since summer, the former bar that catered to a largely Hispanic crowd now lures in spillover rockers from mainstays such as The Echo (Los Globos is owned by the same team behind The Echo/Echoplex) and the occasional name DJ. This is the new home to long-running popular ( and formerly roving) parties like A Club Called Rhonda. Hipsters need to dance, too, after all.
Revolver The legendary WeHo gay bar Revolver is back in the same location with the same name after years of existing under different names and themes. The new owners have brought back the old-school feel, but with modern interior touches. One of the original DJs from the initial incarnation of Revolver is back in the mix, and he’s brought with him some classic video mash ups (Think Huey Lewis 80s clips mashed up with Britney Spears videos). There’s really nothing like it at any bar in WeHo or L.A.—straight or gay.
The Writer’s Room New York’s Nur Khan is a partner in this new Hollywood lounge in Hollywood that takes a page from L.A drinking history. The Writer’s Room is where literary names like Raymond Chandler once tossed back gimlets when it was owned by neighboring Musso & Frank’s decades ago. Now, the bar, with a copper-crusted Parisian-style elevator cage for VIPs, caters to a new generation of writers (So they write for TV shows, but still) and the models who claim they like them.
Salvage Downtown is growing, but Salvage may be the most underrated of the new crop of neighborhood bars. The simple hang features design elements taken from the basement of the historical building it occupies, the Roosevelt Lofts, and accordingly, the dimly lit lounge has a sense of soul lacking in other area haunts. Bonus points for the smoking patio facing 7th Street, which feels hidden yet urban at the same time.
Neat Glendale is not exactly known for upscale cocktails, but respected libation expert Aidan Demarest, formerly of the Spare Room, has opened his own bar, Neat, near Los Feliz/Silver Lake. It’s perfect for natives tired of driving for miles in search of the perfect drink. And every cocktail will come with glasses of neat spirit and Kold-Draft ice.
Confidential Beverly Hills has ridiculously overpriced shopping destinations, power lunch spots, and five-star hotels. But until now, it’s been lacking a decent place to get a drink and have a dance after midnight. A new team is aiming to change all that, and Confidential is their calling card. Think all white walls in a sleek basement space. It’s Miami meets Las Vegas with a West L.A. twist for the bottle service fiends, and an opening party last week showed promise at this sub-level lounge.