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The insider’s view of Downtown’s culture, food, drinks, and the people who shape it.


King Eddy

King Eddy

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After suffering a near disco-death experience, the King is on the road to recovery. The century-old bar is currently on its third manager since its 2013 reopening, and things have been changing. The disco ball is gone. The neon signs are gone. The drunken chalk graffiti is gone.

The bar seems to have struck a balance between its predecessors: the 80s dance club, the skid row dive, the speakeasy. This King Eddy is just like the old King Eddy, only with a close shave and a new suit and tie. He’s just as honest, and just as welcoming.

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Drinks are easy: beers come in cans and liquor pours heavy. Everything is under $10. There’s nothing fancy. There’s a room with a dart board (in case your night’s running short on danger), a couple flat screens that’ll play the game if there is one, and arcade games. There’s a DJ on most nights, with plenty of floor to dance. Even if you miss the kind of place King Eddy once was, it’s not hard to accidentally have a really good time.

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And the bones of the old King are still there. The prohibition tunnels still open up into the basement. This is still where Charles Bukowski came to drink and write and drink. This is still the place that inspired John Fante’s Ask the Dust.

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Now, there is a drunk old regular who heckles the bartender each time he passes. There is a man in a blazer and a pretty girl in a dress. There is another man who tries to buy a beer with a damp bill he finds in his sock. There are still plenty of stories here.

So don’t worry—like always, no matter who you are, there’s a spot at the bar for you.

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Written by:
Rayna Jensen
Photographed by:
Christian Thomas

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