The 'New' King Eddy On Skid Row Reminds Us Of The Old, Divey King Eddy
The King Eddy has changed once more, but it's not so much a new bar as it is a return to the dive it used to be. King Eddy has been around since before Prohibition. Most recently, the Skid Row dive was bought by ACME (Library Bar, Sixth Street Tavern) and cleaned up a bit. Now, King Eddy has been reworked by Jeremy Fall, a Los Angeles native who's been hard at work in the nightlife scene creating unpretentious places for people to drink and dance. (We previously reviewed and enjoyed his two Hollywood dance spots, Genesis and Golden Box.)
Fall told LAist his inspiration for the revamp was to "restore King Eddy to what it used to be when it was a dive bar in the '80s when Skid Row was beautiful. A lot of bars in downtown, including King Eddy had that Miami-esque New Wave feel, that I just want to bring that back."
The regulars meeting up for a drink around 8:30. (Photo by Juliet Bennett Rylah/LAist)
We stopped by last night at around 8 p.m. The square bar is much smaller, making way for a dance floor. In the early evening, it was lined with the usual downtown regulars. The smoking area that had been converted into a darts room is now a smoking room once again, which excited a regular of the pre-ACME era who immediately excused himself to go take a smoke. Actually, a vape. Some things change, some things stay the same.
We also immediately noticed a few new pieces of neon—a Ghostbusters sign, a 'King Eddy' sign and then in the back, a flickering sign that read, "disappear here."
"Disappear here." A line from Bret Easton Ellis' 'Less Than Zero.' (Photo by Juliet Bennett Rylah/LAist)
Fans of Bret Easton Ellis might recognize "disappear here" from the Brat Pack author's 1985 novel Less Than Zero or the 1987 film by the same name. There are also a couple of arcade machines, including a tabletop PacMan beneath the Ghostbusters sign.
Though we can get cynical when it looks like a dive will change, we've got to say that this redo is refreshing, considering a lot of the old Hollywood dives are now serving $12 flips. Fall told us he feels the same way.
"The sole reason why I took on this project is to be able to help conserve one of the few remaining places in the city that still has a soul and history, and hasn't been converted into a trendy mixology bar," he said.
A heavy rotation of new and dark wave (Photo by Juliet Bennett Rylah/LAist)
The music will be heavy on the '80s new wave, with a dark wave night on Wednesdays and classic rock on Thursdays, curated by Cole Whittle from Semi Precious Weapons—an act that has worked on curating music events at Fall's other dance spots. Though don't think the three are necessarily related: Fall is adamant that he just wants King Eddy to be King Eddy.
The drinks here run about $4 to $6 for a beer, $6 wells, $8 calls and $10 premiums. This week only, you can also pay $8 for a shot of Jameson and a house beer.
King Eddy is located at 131 East 5th St. in downtown. Open Weds. through Sun., 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.