My mom always says that I should have lived during the 1960s and 1970s. The music, fashion and style from that period have just always struck a chord with me. And whenever I look at photos from that time period, I always wish I could visit there—even for just a few hours.
Well, I finally got my wish. Sort of. Tucked away on an unsuspecting, dark street off of Hollywood Boulevard lies the coolest 1970s house party you’ve ever been to.
Right about when you pass the LA Fitness and the huge dumpster on El Centro Avenue, you’ll want to turn back. But soon you will see the glowing globe lights of Good Times at Davey Wayne’s, one of Hollywood’s newest and most interesting bars.
Your experience begins when you enter through a garage—complete with a yard sale set up for the bar’s vintage store front. And here comes the best part…to get inside the bar, you enter through where? The garage’s refrigerator, of course. As you enter and walk up the carpeted stairs, you’re instantly immersed into a world where shag rugs rule and wood panel walls are the latest decor craze. The best music of the 70s is always playing…from Elton John to Fleetwood Mac to David Bowie…the mix will always put a smile on your face. Pull up a seat on one of the striped burnt orange and gold couches or the white brick fireplace mantle, complete with authentic family photos of the bar’s owners. Then grab a drink from the bar where you can get signature drinks named after your favorite 70s songs. You can even play a game of pinball on the Monte Carlo-themed pinball machine. It’s free to play the machine, however, it’s known to be on the fritz so if you’re lucky you can get in a game or two.
Next, mosey out to the backyard to lounge around on the vintage patio furniture set up on the glorious AstroTurf. My true favs were the hanging hammock seats, though. And here comes another amazing bonus about this place…you can head over to the aluminum camper for another drink…or a super-amazing adult snow cone! Choose from flavor combinations like tequila pineapple, vodka strawberry, whiskey blackberry or any combination you think up, really. Or you can omit the alcohol and just feel like a kid again and relish in the fact that you’re enjoying a snow cone on a beautiful warm evening in LA. Hungry? Well Dad’s BBQ is hidden away in the corner, serving pork belly sliders, street tacos, hot dogs and more all night long. Even the bathroom walls are plastered with sleazy Hustler magazine spreads and delightfully tacky advertisements—and don’t forget the 70s facets.
This place is the 70s through and through, and I just love it here.
One side note: Do everything in your power to visit this place on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday evening. Thursday through Saturday brings out the trendy LA douche crowd, which rudely yanks you from the nostalgic moment only to remind you that you’re still in Hollywood. The line to get it can be horrendous, as 21 year olds in booty shorts and club-scum dudes with cash are escorted to the front of the line.
So why am I willing to call this the best bar in LA right now? It’s simple, really. The ingenious owners Mark and Jonnie Houston captured the one thing other bars and clubs are missing. You just feel comfortable and at-home there; this place captures your heart. Everyone I’ve taken to this place says it feels like you’re hanging at the coolest house party—without having to clean up the next morning. The unique experiences this place has to offer will have me bringing friends back again and again.
The backstory of Good Times at Davey Waynes’, though, really makes you love it even more. The Houston brothers dedicated this bar to their blue-collar, pool shark father who enjoyed late nights in his garage building and fixing things. This bar encapsulates some of the brothers’ best childhood memories, and that, I think, gives this place true soul.