Craby Joe's (1 Viewer)

So I moved back to downtown Los Angeles and I happen to be literally one block away from the infamous Craby Joe's, featured in the opening and closing credits of Barfly and also I recently learned that Craby Joe's rooftop was used for the U2 video "Where the Street Have No Names". Go to youtube and check it out. Pretty cool.

Anyway...I've been going to Craby Joe's Tuesday - Thursday. It's a great place. Crack heads walk in off the street and try to get away with smoking rock in the bathroom. People will run into the bar, attempt to slam what ever drinks are without their owner and run out. People will run into the bar, scream a bunch of shit and then run out. Every night is filled with the kind of crazy fun that you find in Buk's material. Places like Craby Joe's really bring Buk's writing to life.

The owners informed me that they're going to be shut down by the building owners. This is sad and unfortunate news. There aren't many places like Craby Joe's left in the major metro areas. Most places are undergoing constant gentrification. There aren't many places you can go to and see all these elements of skid row life without being under countinuous fear of being shot or stabbed in the neck. (Maybe my lack of fear in this place is just ignorance on my part, but most people seem harmless. They're just junkies. Good people.)

If you're not familiar with downtown LA of modern day, it's basically the new "cool" place to go to in Los Angeles, which which means hipsters and trust fund babies are slowly taking over. There's a new loft development going in directly across from Craby Joe's and I suspect this is why, after 60 years of operation, working in conditions far worse then present day, they're getting the pinch from the building owners. People with money are moving in and they don't want anything to disrupt their illusions of a sanitized world with birds singing and white people smiling.

I'm not sure if I remember the original point of this message, but if you're in the area, go have one at Craby Joe's. Spend some time just watching the characters. Take a good look at the bar. Have a hard boiled egg for .50 cents. Drink a Miller High Life draft and imagine what it was like in Bukowski's time, sitting at the bar, using your last quarter for another beer and hitting the missions for sleep and food. It makes me sad that this is going to be lost and they want to turn downtown LA into another tourist trap.

If you're in the area and would like to have a drink, send me a message.

I just typed something about that in one of the DeLongpre threads. Los Angeles has no patience for history. But I still wouldn't live anywhere else.

Downtown will be completely improved in a few years, it's already halfway there, as you've pointed out.
Good Lord! I used to go to Craby Joe's frequently when I moved into the nearby Cecil Hotel after my girl and I busted up back in 2004. It was then just as you found it, Jeremy. The city or whoever actually DID close it down for a bit maybe last year or so, as well as the fish fry place next to it. You know what kind of area it is down there and what kind of "activities" the locals are involved in.

As you've discovered, it's back open, though I haven't bothered to go there. I've actually been fortunate to discover another "real bar" not far from there. King Eddy's Saloon, at the corner of 5th St & Los Angeles St. It's a good mix of locals, working-class folks, drunks, and even a couple tranny "working girls" every now and again. Not at all "trendy" or whatever. 180 degrees different from what one might experience downtown at, say, the Golden Gopher or Broadway Bar, neither of which I've been to.

The only downer so far is Brenda the bartender, who's got a major attitude. I found out last week that I'm not the only one who thinks that.
If you want to dodge the yuppies, then you've got to go where they ain't. There are thousands of dead, dying towns and cities across the US where they wouldn't be found, hell, they wouldn't even drive through them.

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