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Hoist One Last Round at Historic Craby Joe's

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Craby Joe's has been at the corner of 7th and Main in Downtown LA since 1933, and earned its place in local lore as a watering hole near and dear to the well-known downtrodden of the literary scene, like John Fante and Charles Bukowski. In honor of the bar's closing night, there will be a gathering of local historians and preservationists, and anyone else wishing to hoist a memorial last drink at Craby Joe's from 10 p.m. until last call on Christmas Eve. The night is being called a wake, in order to properly, and ceremoniously, say goodbye to the bar, whose "now-dead neon sign blinked gaily in the opening credits for Barfly and its pickled eggs were the day's only protein for too many."

Some of the folks getting the word out about the wake are Kim and Richard of the 1947 Project, who blogged about the Christmas Eve drink-fest this weekend and also shared the following sentiments about Downtown's shifting landscape:

Gentrification has come to Skid Row, and now Craby Joe's, the final holdout among the dozens of bars that once lined Main Street, is being shoved into history's dustbin. Its neighbor the Cecil Hotel, already on the skids when Raymond Chandler described it in early short stories, is now a self-described boutique hotel, a destination for the discerning European traveler. This fragile coral reef of artists, galleries (the hub of Art Walk is two blocks away at 5th and Main at Bert Green's), SRO hotels and their long time residents will suffer a severe blow with the close of Craby Joe's, and its fans and friends will miss the unpretentious neighborhood bar and its gruff-but-lovable co-owner Jenny.
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Everyone is invited to join in the tribute and revelry tomorrow night as Craby Joe's closes its doors for good. If you listen closely, perhaps you can hear Bukowski's malcontent's growl as he summons up his drink order.

Craby Joe's
656 S. Main Street, Downtown LA
Closing Wake: Monday, December 24, 2007, 10 p.m. until last call

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