In Search of Davey Waynes
As the theme song to Cheers goes: “Some times you wanna go where everybody knows your name.” And sometimes you just want to be reminded that you may be the most un-cool person in LA. It was early on a boring Sunday. A time chosen for the lack of potential crowds as we set of in search of new speakeasy experiences. Our guest for the evening had been told about a secret bar, where you entered thru a fridge at the back of a garage. After a quick internet search we found our target, and we set off to find “Good Times at Davey Waynes”.
Ok, so its sort of a speakeasy. When we arrived at the address we could hear sound of the loudest fucking bar band in the world bleeding thru the walls and attacking the neighborhood. We were told that you would find a random open garage, and the old fridge at the back of the garage was the entrance to the bar. It may have looked more like a garage in the past, but with a fence out front, and a guy checking I.D.’s at the door, the secret is out.
With our ID’s checked we went thru the fridge and up the wood paneled stairs. More wood paneling greeted us upstairs in a room that was intended to resemble a seventies living room. With the band blaring on our right, we saw salvation in the form of an outdoor patio to our left. Outside, multiple levels of the wooden porch was littered with Hollywood hipsters leaning on any available railing, exhausted from the energy it took to smoke their American Spirits, and ironically wear 90’s clothing at the same time.
Along the far side of the deck was an old white camper trailer that served as a bar. The inside walls were peppered with old playboy centerfolds. As required by hipster law, the uninterested bar tender’s well waxed curled handle bar mustache looked like Dali in a tank top. All but two of the cocktails had been 86’d as was indicated by white e tape covering the sign to the side of the camper. Of the two choices, I had to go with the “Princess Leia” (seriously, we have standards here). The drink was mainly ice, and was comparable to the lesser cocktails on the Red Robin menu.
Unable to find a space to chat amongst the coolest corpses in town, we braved the main room. We approached the band, but the pure furry of fuzzy distortion pushed us down a wood paneled (shocking) hallway. We arrived an a longer more traditional bar, with no barstools and no seats, save a chair at the end of the bar with ajean jacked hanging from the back. We couldn’t quite tell if this was part of the theming. Unable to find a location either quiet enough for a conversation, or a place to at least sit down, we abandoned our “Good Times At Davey Waynes” in search of a comfortable place to sit.
My wife and I have been hunting speakeasies for the last four years, and our excursions have introduced us to some of the best bartenders, in some of the best bars in the country. It is important to note, that for us, it’s all about the quality of the cocktail being made, and the service experience that accompanies it. In our travels, the cocktail has been the prize at the end of the rainbow for those willing to jump thru the hoops to find them. Most of the time there is something worth the trouble. In this situation, there was not.