Venice Cool: Best Bars Around Town

Oh man, Venice. That’s the spot. Just a cool place to chill and grab a few beers (or something stronger that begins in whi- and ends in why not?). In some parts of Venice, it’s like the ’70s are totally alive and well. Especially in the dark, comforting corners of certain drinking establishments… so step into some vintage blues and let’s go find all the shades of amber, yeah?

THE BRIG

Abbot Kinney

I recently profiled this in our Venice City Guide. So if I’m double dipping The Brig, you know there’s good reason. This spot is just classic. I mean, how often do you get to kick it in a bar with a space-age vibe? It’s the kind of place where you either kick off the night with friends or end it as the last man standing. They’ve been the purveyors of drafts and good times for over 60 years. They’ve got cold brews on tap, billiards at the ready and live bands on the reg. The same kind of things that would have won the day back in the ’70s, too.

THE VENICE WHALER

Washington Boulevard

The Venice Whaler—or just The Whaler as it’s known to its bar flies—is an institution in Venice. People have been watching the sun set over the Pacific (or not watching, no judgment) since 1944. It’s the kind of place where you might stay for a round, or a spell, or what seems like an eternity. And that’s its charm. You never know who you’ll meet, or what turn the night will take. So if you’re gonna step into the belly of the beast, be prepared for that proper ‘70s attitude of anything goes. ‘Cause it will.

HINANO CAFÉ

Washington Boulevard

Like the other two, the Hinano is solid gold. Wood paneling and sawdust on the floor make you feel like you’re light years away from all the latte drinkers and celebrity gossipers. (Good riddance.) For the time you’re in there, it’s about the simple things. Something from the tap. A friendly bet on the pool table. And an excuse not to go back to reality for an afternoon, an evening or both.

 Got a favorite spot? Is there one you’ve gotta try? Tell us about it.

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