Dive Bar Swan Song: Downtown L.A.'s King Eddy to Close on Sunday
Downtown denizens are lamenting the loss of the King Eddy Saloon, which is set to shut down on Sunday and be remodeled under new ownership. Located in Skid Row, it's considered one of the last legit dives in the area, and we're not talking about the pseudo-vintage bars to appeal to the mustachioed hipster crowd.
The King Eddy first opened in 1933, but will close for renovations and reopen with new managers. Regulars, used to paying $4 for a beer and microwave burrito, fear the changes. It was purchased by Acme Bar Group, who also operates Urbano Pizza Bar Downtown, as well as the Spring and Library Bars.
The King Eddy is located in an area of Downtown on 5th and Los Angeles that's called "the Nickel." It's been owned by the same family for nearly 50 years. The dive is housed under the King Edward Hotel, and is known for its cheap drinks that cater to the low income and transitional housing in the area. But it also offers a bit of old vintage L.A. The new owners hope to restore the bar to it's original state.
Says the Times:
The owners plan to use old photos to restore the bar's Midcentury look. They hope to renovate the abandoned speak-easy in the basement and open the bar's windows that are covered by stucco, letting natural light into the place for the first time in decades. They haven't finalized their plans, but one thing is for sure. Drinks won't come cheap at the new King Eddy.
The King Edward Hotel's residents are safe from eviction, says Bristol 423 partner Eric Shomof. The Shomofs, who in 1999 opened one of the first upscale loft buildings downtown, also bought the Leland and Baltimore hotels across from the King Edward. A moratorium prohibits the conversion of residential hotels in the area to upscale housing until 2063.
At least some things can stay the same.