Looking for your next hip cool neighborhood bar in Downtown? Wendell Bar, just opened right in the heart of the downtown financial district, you may remember it as “the bar formerly known as Craby Joe’s” at 7th and Main.
The Bar had a soft opening a few days ago and already eager neighborhood bar-goers were checking out the joint! The patio outside was pretty much filled up and people who like to drink with their dog have a place for Fido to chill while they imbibe their favorite drinks
Boasting jukebox tunes with an eclectic décor, it’s bound to bring the cool kids from all around the hood to this promising new hub of excitement.
When you walk in, it’s a very sleek design with a downtown edge. Wendell Bar showcases a long bar filled with libations and happy customers, a piano in the corner and a lounging area when you head upstairs that overlooks the bar. This is a great place to go for after-work drinks with friends, soak up the downtown ambiance or just throw back a few refreshing cocktails to kick off your evening.
T. Elliott (GM of the Standard downtown), Stan O’Connell and James Campbell co-own Wendell Bar. They all met while working at the Standard Rooftop in Downtown and subsequently teamed up to start one of the top neighborhood bars in Canoga Park called Instant Replay. LA Weekly honored the bar with the aforementioned title and upon the success of Instant Replay the fellas decided to forge ahead with another endeavor, Wendell Bar.
For you Bukowski fans, Craby Joe’s is talked about in the beginning and ending of his book Barfly. He made the place famous. Fans and curious tourists from all over the world would flock to Craby Joe’s to investigate and absorb the atmosphere that Bukowski was so fond of dwelling in and writing about. Also, it is rumored that Bukowski wrote the book Post Office while being a patron of this bar.
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas author and renowned gonzo journalist) was also known to frequent Craby Joe’s as well.
And now for a little darker tale involving the bar . . . serial killer Richard Ramirez used to drink there.
Richard lived down the block at the Hotel Cecil. He’d hang out there and do whatever the heck serial killers do during the day (probably knit and bake cookies). Then he’d head over to Craby Joe’s and throw back a few spirits, get a little (or maybe a lot, one never does know how much intoxication it takes to kill with reckless abandon) liquored up and then hop into his car, (I guess DUI’s weren’t a big threat back then) and drive down the10 Freeway and look for his next victim. He’d pick a freeway exit at random (or maybe he threw darts at a map of the Southern California freeways before he left) and then he’d strike at whatever home or person struck his fancy at the time.
So the next time you head into Wendell, you never know…you may unknowingly be sitting in the vicinity of the next big serial killer or beat poet of this millennium. Hopefully the latter.
Another Wendell fun fact: the U2 video for the song “Where the Streets Have no Name” was filmed on the rooftop in 1987.
Wendell Bar is having its grand opening on Monday, October 7th and those of us in the neighborhood are anxiously awaiting this watering hole’s debut. Its has a full bar with a liquor license (which is rare these days) and no food but you are allowed to bring in food from outside sources. Don’t forget to bring extra for the bartender. And Garage Pizza across the street is a hot option for quick greasy bar food and the rumor is they’ll be open late for your grubbing enjoyment.
Wendell inherited its namesake from Wendell Green who was a longtime friend of the owners and industry player (Skybar, Purple Lounge, Sunset Marquis).
The hours of operation will be from 5 PM to 2 AM and open everyday.
In a nutshell, T. S. Elliott says this bar is “easy-rider meets Bukowski,” which is a perfect match for not only the venue and the area but for the downtown vibe as well.
See you there!
The exact address is 656 S. Main Street Los Angeles, CA 90014.