The presence of a jukebox adds a flash of flair and fun to any establishment. Nowhere is this more true than the West Coast dive bar, where drinks run strong and cheap and the dance moves are footloose.
Weiland Brewery Restaurant
Hours: Mon – Fri 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.; Sat 12 p.m. – 2 a.m.; Sun 5 p.m. – 2 a.m.
In the heart of Little Tokyo is one of the city’s best kept secrets: Weiland Brewery Restaurant. An annual stop on the Zombie Bar Crawl every Halloween, the establishment boasts an excellent happy hour with generous portions. Hummus and pita, sliders and the chicken quesadillas are best sellers at this establishment. However, the real draw is the jammin’ jukebox. Everything from the Ramones to the Cure can be heard playing. Patrons come to the brewery to show off their moves.
Hours: Daily 10 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Danny Bobbe, lead singer of LA Font calls this place “THE classic Jukebox joint in LA.” The Roost is a cash only neighborhood dive bar. It serves up strong drinks and awesome tunes. With a truly eclectic and electric crowd, darts, free popcorn and great customer service, there is little fault to be found. The regulars keep the jukebox blasting great tunes and the other patrons energized.
Hours: Mon – Fri 5 p.m – 2 a.m.; Sat – Sun 8 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Though the address is on Sunset, the entrance is actually on Argyle. The Well is a intimate, dark haunt that is a member of the Vintage Bar Group. It is a popular choice for post Hollywood Palladium Concert drinks. This establishment is made up of excellent service, strong drinks, good eats, a solid happy hour, and a righteous barkeep who will play any song on the jukebox for free.
Speak Easy Cocktail
The cheap drinks at this watering hole and relaxed vibe create the perfect atmosphere for enjoying jukebox tunes. A diverse crowd adds to the appeal of this establishment where karaoke and pool are both offered. However, it’s the jukebox that really makes the place hop. On a typical night you’ll hear Yo La Tengo, Led Zeppelin, Van Morrison, Leonard Cohen and Hall & Oates all in the same hour.
Hours: Sun – Weds 7 a.m. – 2 a.m.; Thurs – Sat 7 a.m. – 3 a.m.
Though Swingers is more a diner than it is bar, it features a beautiful jukebox. In addition to the groovy music, food and drinks are served up right. The decor, from the menus to the booths and counter, is a perfect homage to “Love: American Style,” the iconic 70’s TV series. A healthy menu that includes something for everyone and spans breakfast to dinner makes Swingers the ideal place to work your jukebox magic.
Kristen Lowman is a freelance writer and publisher of the webzine Music + Moxie. She goes to 4+ shows per week and lives on the Miracle Mile in Los Angeles. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.