Long-closed music venue Al’s Bar still has a fan in new building owner

Aspiring punk-rock and alternative bands packed patrons into grungy Al’s Bar in downtown Los Angeles throughout the 1980s and 1990s, making it one of the West Coast’s best-known venues for hearing edgy music of the era. Well-known performers such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana, the Fall, Sonic Youth, Beck and the Misfits all strode the modest stage in the dive bar at 303 S. Hewitt St. before they made it big. The bar closed in 2001, but its memories still echo among many Angelenos, including entrepreneur Mark Verge, who recently purchased the old hotel now known as the American apartment building where Al’s once raged. “I went there twice,” Verge said. “It was a trip.”

With broken-down furniture and walls covered in graffiti, Al’s was the antithesis of so-called yuppie bars of the time that catered to upwardly mobile singles on the make. Al’s was an aggressively unpolished saloon in a rough-edged neighborhood and gave off a whiff of danger. Now the neighborhood is changing rapidly, and Verge has long-range plans to upgrade apartment units in the building and put a Westside Rentals office in as part of the American office. He owns the rental company… read more >

Al’s Bar Los Angeles 1973 Vintage Men’s T-Shirt

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