Sunny skies and sun-kissed skin give rise to the demand for a daily dose of Vitamin D as you fill up on Vitamin A (and by A we mean alcohol). We’re blowing off the roof with this list of outdoor playgrounds, limited to the 21 and over set and perfect for enjoying LA’s endless summer from dawn ‘til dusk.
4824 N Vineland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 91601
It’s not everyday you can drink inside a historical landmark, especially one that is appropriately shaped as a giant cedar whiskey barrel (and whose “Programmatic” architecture is the last remaining of its kind in LA). Minimalist décor within the interior showcases the restored shape of the structure, with impeccable details like the glass stained ceiling overhead. The bar program features a rotating selection of local and seasonal craft suds, draft and bottled cocktails, and handcrafted options if you’re fancy. As such, no matter what your poison of choice, a barrel of good times is sure to be had by all.
Order up a wonderfully refreshing Rickey on draft and mosey on out to the expansive back patio. This backyard vibe comes complete with a shady ficus tree, fire pit, and plenty of picnic style furniture beckoning guests to relax to the max with a cold bevy in hand. It’s a great choice for rounding up a group of friends; even Fido can come out to play! Come summer, Idle Hour will launch smoke-outs and barbecues in the patio, offering a variety of cured, smoked, and slow-roasted treats to chow down on, complete with an iconic pipe-smoking bulldog to keep you company. You read that right; don’t believe us? Come through and see for yourself.
Upstairs (@ The Ace Hotel)
933 S Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Set high atop the Ace Hotel is a “fun-sized” rooftop lounge, offering sun kissed views over burgeoning Broadway in Downtown LA. It’s the most stylish concrete bunker you’ve ever laid your eyes on, with chic design elements like white leather and wicker chairs, warm woods, cushy southwestern textiles, and a seafaring vibe above the bar. To avoid the lines and crowds that the weekends bring in, make plans to elevate yourself midweek, or arrive early to enjoy sun soaked cocktails, live entertainment, and Big Gay Ice Cream to keep spirits light. Check out the Upstairs calendar of events for updates. To get here, enter through the lobby restaurant and ascend up the elevator to day drinking heaven.
Big Bar (Alcove Café)
1927 Hillhurst Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
It’s a Craftsman bungalow, it’s a café, and it’s a bar! If you guessed any of these driving by this Hillhurst Avenue mainstay, you’d be correct! This neighborhood haunt made a 1916 Craftsman bungalow its home, and has lured in sun-seeking sippers ever since. Meander up the cobblestone pathway to the vintage bar adjacent to the café. Be sure to check out the chalkboard special of the day, or choose a favorite from the menu. No matter the choice, you really can’t go wrong here. When you’re ready for some sun, spill out onto the charming umbrella lined patio, otherwise known as the perfect place to enjoy al fresco drinks. Top-notch tipples served here attract cocktailians all over the city to battle the constant flow of café diners who share this desirable slice of real estate in Los Feliz.
10 Washington Blvd
Venice, CA 90292
In a previous life, The Venice Whaler was a regular hangout for local surfers, beach loving tourists, and even music legends of the 60s and 70s like the Beach Boys and the Beatles. Today, this little seaside shack has reinvented itself with a brand new look and menu, to reflect the upscale beachy cool vibe of its surrounding neighborhood. It’s not often you’ll find craft cocktails on the beach, that is unless you find yourself right here in the Crabshell Bar. Order up great beachy-keen twists on classics like the Whaler Fashioned and the Moscow Whale and step out into the patio overlooking the sand and sea; it’s the best seat in the house for eclectic people watching along the Venice Boardwalk. Upstairs you’ll find a more casual, party vibe and a bar slinging out boozy refreshments using the same great spirits and fresh ingredients used downstairs.
Good Times at Davey Wayne’s
1611 N El Centro Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90028
When you’re over the 2000’s, take a voyage back in time to Davey Wayne’s party pad, a throwback bar to the 70’s that is rock and roll and all things far out. The backyard boogie is where it’s at; you’ll enter through a wood deck that sinks into a grassy area with hammocks to hang while watching live entertainment, like the ever-groovy roller-skating performances. Once you get there, make a beeline straight to the trailer bar and order up a boozy snow cone for a fun way to quell the sweltering temps. Daytime dwellers can chill out in casual California garb, just be sure dress it up for nightfall.
101 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401
When California dreaming is where your head is at, The Bungalow is here to turn those thoughts into reality. This hot Westside hangout is a favorite for its charming, rustic atmosphere and a fun and lively vibe. You’ll love hanging out on the sweeping outdoor decks, surrounded by gardens and providing ocean view eye candy for visitors to enjoy. Feeling playful? Take up a game of ping-pong with someone lovely, and invite her to cool off with a Bungalow Margarita or Bitchin’ Sangria. As the sun begins to set and temperatures cool, the fire pits are stoked and cozy furniture covers the deck to keep the good vibes rolling al night long.
5750 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Occupying a hundred-year-old converted craftsman, visiting The Larchmont feels like being invited into a chic home with open arms. Take a step inside and discover a sense of approachability where you’ll find a warm space full of distinction. Think a white washed fireplace and modern art dotting the walls. The Carrara marble-topped bar dispenses a wide array of cocktails, thoughtfully made fresh with premium California produce and some of the world’s finest spirits. Also on offer is a wine list full of intriguing finds to discover, with more than 15 wines poured by the glass. Premium suds as well as non-alcoholic housemade sodas are also on offer when you’re in the mood to switch things up. Slip onto the intimate covered wooden deck for a respite from the outside world; it’s made for relaxing with drinks and nibbles as the breath of fresh air you’ve been looking for.