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Los Angeles

Sunset & Vinyl

time Mon - Sun: 6pm - 2am

This joint is a hidden bar and lounge dedicated to cocktails and the simple joy of listening to old school vinyl records. The interior is decked out with plush 70's lounge chairs and retro mood lighting, it will have you feeling like most of Hollywood, Almost Famous. 

OUR ARTICLE

BY: Courtney Kocak Contributing writer

The key to Sunset & Vinyl is not giving up before you get inside.

Just one block down from the Hollywood Walk of Fame, this hidden gem of a bar is nestled inside a pizzeria inside of a mixed-use highrise on (you guessed it) Sunset and Vine. It easily goes unnoticed by tourists and locals alike, because, well… it doesn’t even have a sign.

Don’t worry, here’s your cheat sheet: All you have to do is look for 800 Degrees Pizza on Vine, next to the most tricked-out Walgreens in the world (it’s literally their flagship). Walk through the restaurant, make a right, and go up the stairs. Led Zeppelin riffs or some other far-out jam will greet you in the stairwell and guide you the rest of way in.

When the watering hole reaches max capacity, energy volleys through the confined space like a supercharged tennis match between musical legends.

Once you enter the ’70s-inspired second-floor lair, it will seem as though you’ve been transported into an old-timey train car from a second-rate production of Murder on the Orient Express. The crushed velvet chairs, the dim lighting, the sticky laminated menus, and the funky vinyl tracks bellowing in the background give it a homey dive bar feel.

In the heart of Hollywood, near the Arclight, Amoeba Records, Equinox, and Trader Joe’s, this tucked-away speakeasy is the perfect spot to pop into for a pre- or post-outing (or errand) drink. It’s also a laid back yet still happening alternative to what can be a chaotic bar scene just two blocks west on Cahuenga.

Sunset & Vinyl features a playful list of eight craft cocktails that nod to musical artists, albums, and songs (like Pet Sounds, CCR, and Strawberry Fields), plus a full bar, beer, and wine at fairly standard Hollywood prices (most of the beers run $7 and cocktails cap out at $14). For budget-minded travelers and working stiffs, they also have a happy hour with $5 wells and beers and $6 select wines from 5 to 8 p.m. daily.

You’d be remiss if you didn’t try the namesake cocktail for Latin and jazz percussionist Willie Bobo, made with tequila blanco, jalapeño, lime, mezcal, and some sort of special agave the bartender would be thrilled to discuss with you in great detail. However, an even graver sin would be failing to flip through their genre-spanning record collection, selecting whatever you’re in the mood for, and sticking it at the front of the queue for the bartender-DJs to play next.

What’s even more intoxicating than the booze is Sunset & Vinyl’s rock-and-roll vibe. When the watering hole reaches max capacity, energy volleys through the confined space like a supercharged tennis match between musical legends. At its worst, it’s a place of inspired utility, a fun place to grab an adult beverage and chillax to your favorite tuneage. Plus, if you go on an empty stomach (or get lost on the way in), it doesn’t hurt that there’s pizza downstairs.

FIELD TIPS

Hidden from plain view, the entrance is accessible from within 800 Degrees Pizza

Post up and feel like you’re inside the movie Almost Famous, do as Stillwater would and “Rock n’ Roll”

In the hustle of Hollywood, this moody joint offers a low-key spot to grab a drink

Dive into the daily happy hour from 6-8pm, $5 well drinks and draft beers

It’s in the name — the vinyl is spinning