“Norm!” There is something pretty awesome about going to a place where everybody knows your name. Having “your” bar gives you a place to celebrate or recover after a long day or just hang out. The staff go from names behind the bar, to acquaintances, and then sometimes, to friends. Not to mention the comfort of being a regular can often lead to much more successful and charming encounters with strangers at said bar. LA isn’t hurting for bars, but not all of them are ideal for becoming a regular. Below are just a few to try on for size.
Delancey – The Fancy Chill
5936 Sunset Blvd. Hollywood, CA 90028
Part restaurant, part bar, this place looks like it’s straight off the streets of New York. Its corner views of Sunset Boulevard are slightly obstructed by the painted lettering on the windows giving it an old school charm. Inside it’s all leather, exposed brick, hardwood floors, and tin ceilings, allowing it to skirt the line between casual and elegant. Delancey is on the small side, with bistro tables, but the bar is long and has a small sitting area with a U-shaped bank of leather sofas perfect for groups. The people who frequent this place are anyone from guys watching the game on the TV to artists of young Hollywood. You’ll see a celebrity in there from time to time, but they come because it’s low key, respects their privacy, and serves bitchin’ pizza and beer. Plus, Delancey pasta is house made. It can get a bits nuts around dinner time on Fridays and Saturdays, but there’s usually room at the bar. The staff is friendly, know their booze and pasta, and never try to turn tables.
The Red Lion – The Atmosphere
2366 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039
Drive too fast on Glendale Boulevard and you risk missing this little gem. It looks like a house from the street, which hides its true size. Walking in is like stepping back into the 1950s when it first opened: the main floor is dark and cozy with stained glass windows, the ceiling lined with steins. The staff even wears Bavarian-inspired dresses. You’ve got your choice of places to plant as well: the main bar, the upper room or the outdoor patio transformed into a biergarten, which is pleasant no matter the weather. The Red Lion draws all ages (well, 21 and up anyway) and walks of life with the incredible menu of German beers and food. They offer pub trivia as well!
The Morrison – The Place to Watch the Game
3179 Los Feliz Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039
The Morrison is nuts for sports: NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, FIFA, even college games– you name it, they probably have the TV package to show it. Even if you’re not there for sports, they have a nice slice of outdoor patio available. There is a lot to love about this place: the food is ridiculously good (do yourself a favor and order the “Late Breakfast Burger”) and they really go all out on decorating for whatever holiday it happens to be, or even will be… at some point. It’s a very casual, relaxed pub with a definite sense of humor. The Morrison also loves dogs, offering a menu just for them, so really can this place be any better? This is probably one of the easier places to become a regular as the staff seems to have an uncanny ability to remember people and make them feel welcome to be back.
3216 Glendale Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90039
The Village Tavern is like your favorite, cozy college bar grew up to be a cool, successful adult tavern. It’s a perfect spot for friends, date night, or a solo beer– speaking of which, they handpick unusual and delicious bottled beers and constantly rotate what they’ve got on tap. If beer is not your poison, they’ve got cocktails covered, too (try the Pueblito Michelada or the The Minimalist if you love gin) at prices that won’t break the bank. The food, however… oh, the food. They teamed up with Stop, Guac n’ Roll, a former food truck, to offer Mexican Smokehouse deliciousness. Their brisket is smoked for languid 16-hours and their 12-hour pork borders on the sinful. People wax poetic about the Crazy Corn and Avocado Fries. Now, there is a caveat here: the seats are on the uncomfortable side (wooden benches and metal chairs), but thanks to the incredible food, booze, relaxed atmosphere, and welcoming staff, you probably won’t notice.
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