Gallery Row Bar Tales – ART WALK NEWS

Gallery Row Bar Tales

BAR 107

WendallsAround Christmas every year, Bar 107 displays its Schlitzmas tree, which is simply a Christmas tree adorned with Schlitz cans and lights. This feature is a favorite of many of our patrons, and last year a new admirer came to see it. It was early evening, and the bar was lively but not overly full, and all attention seemed to turn to the door as an older, clearly homeless woman walked in, head held high. She walked slowly past the bar and exchanged friendly smiles and nods with all those she passed, despite the strong smell of urine that followed her. Once she reached the back of the bar, she stopped in her tracks directly in front of the Schlitzmas tree. After a few seconds of intensely staring, she belted out the strangest, most hilarious rendition of “O, Christmas Tree” and left everyone in the bar speechless. She sang loudly and proudly and when she finished, she walked out in the same manner in which she entered.

One unassuming evening, the bar was suitably packed when a group of women walked in and sat in a cluster at the bar. The three women, each dressed in business-casual attire, commented on how nice it was to be done with work and unwinding and began drinking. Before too long, they became noticeably intoxicated, as one of the women leaned over the bar and, rather than asking for water, another drink or the check, alluded to a trick she could do that didn’t involve hands. I suggested that it was time to close out, which she did begrudgingly, and the women left minutes later. I didn’t think much of the interaction, and continued with the night. Upon closing, I left the bar only to find one of the women sitting out front. I asked, “Where are your friends?” to which she replied with some incoherent mumbling. I later learned that they had each left, which didn’t seem like the best thing for friends to do, but I figured I’d do the right thing and drive her car home and take a taxi back. We briefly discussed the arrangement, which she seemed happy with and got into her car after the 20 minutes it took her to find her keys, which were in her purse the entire time. I asked, “Where do you live?” and she replied, sloppily, “Marina del Rey!” I figured it’d be an ordeal but that’s just ridiculous. The only saving grace was the GPS with the “Home” setting. It didn’t take long after we took off to realize that the car needed gas. I told her this and she agreed, and pulled out her card, told me her PIN and asked me to go pay as she turned her head and passed out, or so I thought. As I’m in the middle of pumping the gas, she swings the door open and screams, “What are you doing?! Why do you have my card??” I explained the messy, messy situation to her and she replied, “Oh, yeah. Alright.” After leaving the gas station, she asked three or four more times what was going on, and when we finally reach her street (which was pitch black), she sits up in the seat and exclaims, “I need cigarettes!” I told her that she didn’t need them, and that she should go in to sleep. She then said, “I won’t tell you which house is mine. Let’s go to the beach!” The gag had run its course, and I was ready to leave. I took her to the closest store and ran in to get cigarettes, turned right around and headed toward her house. As we approached, she gave me cab fare by shoving a wad of cash in my pants. I finally dropped her off at home after she finally revealed which house was hers. I gave her back her keys and as she walked up the stairs she turned and asked, “Aren’t you going to come in? I have wine.” I said no, walked to the closest gas station and called a cab, in Marina del Rey.

The interesting contrast of Artisan House is the clean bar aesthetic, which rests right at the edge of Skid Row, which on the contrary, is neither terribly aesthetically pleasing nor clean. One afternoon, during the business lunch rush, the tables were full and lively as people were enjoying meals and the occasional lunchtime beer, however there was only one gentleman at the bar. He was in casual clothing, kept slightly to himself and seemed decent enough. After ordering his drink and some food, he pulled out a laptop and began doing what everyone only assumed was work. Once he was done frantically typing away, he began staring at whatever was on the screen. No one seemed bothered by his presence and what he was doing but a few of the waitresses mentioned keeping an eye on him, based on strange vibes they were getting from the only man at the bar at lunchtime. A few more minutes pass, and one of the waitresses informs us that the gentleman is watching adult movies on his laptop and before anyone knew it he reached into his pants and was manipulating himself right at the bar. We all knew immediately what needed to be done but the sad truth of the situation was that no one knew quite how to go about it. He wasn’t exactly in a position to conduct a normal conversation but eventually security was able to escort him out.

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