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.
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.