Although it’s surrounded by the City of Angels, Culver City has long been a world all its own. Something about the neighborhood just feels a little different, perhaps kinder and gentler than the larger LA that encapsulates it. Equal parts yester-year time warp, small town charm and disarm, with Hollywood spotlights thrown in for good measure, Culver City boasts some of the best “Cheers” heirs in the biz. When you’re looking for a place where everyone knows your name, check out our favorite local go-to bars!
For those of us too young to remember, in a time before texting, the “Dear John” letter was considered the coldest, most unceremonious means of detaching oneself from a beau. It may seem counter-intuitive to name a charming bar after such a practice, but in the case of this Culver City treasure, the unusual name works. For the record, the bar is not famous as a breakup spot. Most nights of the week Dear John’s hosts live music and entertainment that further reinforces the awesome 40’s vibe of the establishment. Once you’ve experienced Dear John’s plush and old-school charm, delectable morsels and spirits and relaxed, but engaging vibe, you’ll find you can’t stay away for long.
Joxer Daly’s is something of an institution in Culver City. Part Sports bar, part Irish pub and completely full of character, Daly’s is the go-to joint for the town’s young, broke and fabulous. There is always a diverse crowd, many of them regulars, and there is always something going on to make you feel right at home. From billiards to non-stop sports on TV to a jukebox that will rock you for hours to live music, the scene here never stops. In fact, the vibe in this bar is so upbeat and contagious that while you may enter down and out, by the time you leave, you’re an up and comer, and lest we forget, perspective is everything.
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Cozy Inn has been around for about four decades and has been under its current ownership since the 1990s. In that time, this dynamic dive bar has amassed perhaps the most impressively eclectic gathering of regulars known to man. From entrepreneurs and tinsel-town A-listers (both behind and in front of the camera) to office workers and hipsters alike, the Cozy Inn provides a chill hang for all of them. There are two pool tables, a shuffleboard and a state-of-the-art juke box to provide the perfect soundtrack to your night.
The Cinema Bar
This social club and bar may seem like a shoebox from the outside, but the inside proves that good things come in small packages. At one of LA’s oldest and longest established bars, not much has changed since it first started operating––prices are shockingly low and the space needs a few decades worth of dusting in certain corners. While there isn’t exactly a ton of space to sit down, there is righteous live music nightly and kind, knowledgeable staff who will remember you after just one meeting. How Cinema Bar crams so much awesomeness into its tiny square footage is pretty impressive in its own right, and has earned it a reputation as the neighborhood’s favorite spot to hit after good and bad days to unwind and gear up for the next one.
Tattle Tale Room
If the name fails to make it clear, allow us to spell it out for you. The Tattle Tale Room is all about a good time, namely yours. And the bar has a wicked clever sense of humor to boot. From the tongue in cheek signage that advise patrons of house rules (“If you’re smoking in here you’d better be on fire!”) to the mission statement, of sorts (“Enter as Strangers. Leave as Friends.”), the staff makes themselves kindred spirits the second you enter. It’s also the only bar on this list that’s open daily from 6:00 AM to 2:00 AM. So when you need that morning shot at dawn, you know where to head. Karaoke, pool, and juke –joint, oh my!
Kristen Lowman spends her days writing and her nights at concerts. She lives on the Miracle Mile in the City of Angels. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.