The Cork

At the end of last year, it was reported that the The Cork bar on West Adams quietly ceased to be. However due to a long history of disturbances the establishment and its patrons created in the nearby residential neighborhood, perhaps the quiet is much needed.

Nonetheless, another LA dive bar becomes history.

Constructed in 1933, the building at the corner of West Adams and South Palm Grove operated for years as a retail space housing a plumbing shop and then carpet store. In 1947 The Cork Bar and Grill was established by a character named Big John Collins.

Back then it hashed soul food and highballs to athletes, jazz musicians, and professionals. It went through a couple more owners and several other changes before finally seeing its final days.

from Black Enterprise Magazine, 1974

The awesome arrow style neon sign beckoned us in back in the late ’90’s. At the time, there was not much else in the way of nightlife nearby. Ducking in the Cork had a pleasant neighborhood feel. As memory serves, the dark inside was largely illuminated by large rectangle backlit bar where locals and regulars nursed their drinks. The cocktails were stiff, the music was prominent, and there was a bit of dancing among the high top tables.

The Cork and nearby West Adams environs, snapped a couple of decades ago

In the cyclical pattern of history, the space will be folded into commercial units, prime real estate in a district swiftly succumbing to gentrification. And the Cork will soon be a distant memory.

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