Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

Food

Downtown's 'Last Reasonable Bar' Gets a Little Less Divey

Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.

King Eddy Saloon, a historic dive which one regular describes as the "last reasonable bar" in downtown, is getting revamped.

On its website the saloon claims both John Fante and Skid Row residents as its clientele and takes pride in not changing like the rest of downtown:

The cheapest “muddy water” in town, whose ingredients are still a mystery to the masses. Managing to avoid downtown renovation projects that have blown through the city in the last 10 years (outstanding other historic monuments like Cole’s or Craby Joe’s) King Eddys still carries a glint of mystery, most likely rendered from the questionable history beneath its floorboards waiting for its chance to be unsheathed again.

But now it, too, has become a downtown renovation project. Bristol 423 recently purchased a trio of run-down, century-old hotels: the Baltimore, Leland and King Edward. To the east of the hotels is Skid Row, and to the west is the section of downtown that's been developed at a breathtaking pace over the last few years. Now the developers say they are intent on cleaning the area around the hotels up—and that includes the King Eddy Saloon, according to Blogdowntown.The blog reports that the bathrooms will be renovated, the giant glass windows looking out onto the street will be restored and the ceiling will be raised to its original height. Prices at the bar have gone up, although it's still incredibly cheap compared to, say, Cole's or any of the bars that have popped up nearby in the last few years. Everything costs at least a dollar more than it used to, and now a bottle of Bud costs $4.

Support for LAist comes from

Blogdowntown spoke with a bartender and a few regulars about the changes. A man named Frank, who said he’s been coming “seven days a week” since moving into the hotel in the 1980s, seemed bummed out when he spoke to blogdowntown: “I’ve got a lot of friends here. That’s the whole problem. This is the last reasonable bar, [price-wise].”

A bartender named Leo (no one seemed to be giving their last names) said he was hoping the revamp might attract a younger crowd that has been flocking downtown in increasing numbers: “In the end, I think this is a positive." He was hopeful that there is room at the saloon for everyone: “You can make a dive bar nice. There will always be room for these old-timers."

Other cheap bars and dives around town:
Los Angeles, Are These Your Best Dive Bars?
12 Downtown Bars Where You Can Get Your 'Budget Buzz' On