In this 2012 Los Angeles world of revived dive bars (King Eddy’s), dive cafeterias (Clifton’s) and dive everything else (Cole’s), a few joints that left the scene decades ago remain long forgotten.  One that begs for memory revival is The Playboy, a bar next to Nickodell Restaurant, both at one time straddling Paramount Studios on Melrose Ave.


I only took a few slides of the place moments before it was crushed by the dozers back in ’98, but I imagine it was once a classy cocktail lounge inhabited by Sinatra and Paramount execs.  I say this because of the top hat, white gloves and black cane painted on the back door.

playboydoor2 copy

Perhaps back in the ’70’s a few New Wave Hollywood directors (DePalma & pals) threw back shots of whiskey while Gulf & Western’s Paramount Studios behind the bar struggling to redefine itself.  You can see a glimpse of the studio  in the top right corner of the shot of The Playboy below, the bar boarded up and stripped of its glowing neon.  Maybe it’s a good thing that nothing remains for a LA Revivalist to polish up and charge 12 bucks for a cocktail that once sold for $2.50 back when The Playboy was living up to its name.


Want a bit of Hollywood history in your own home bar? Find a Playboy Photo print here.

2 thoughts on “DIVE REVIVAL

  1. I went to this bar (Playboy) quite a few times after I arrived in Hollywood from New England in 1978. There was a very nice Mexican (I believe) lady working at the bar. It was a pretty simple place; however, I enjoyed the atmosphere – being right near Paramount Studios and all. There was a jukebox as I remember and in that bar I listened to the song by Bobby Bare – “Tequila Sheila.” Pour me another tequila – Sheila.. I believe that song was recorded in 1980. I remember the door and am glad I found this website for some good memories.

  2. Thanks Steve for the memory. By the time I came across the Playboy it was unfortunately closed and about to be torn down. Sure wish I could have had a drink at the bar. Great to hear from someone who did. Cheers!

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