Los Angeles, along with the rest of the country, is currently enamored with the Prohibition-era speakeasy. But as glamorous, 1920s-style lounges pop up everywhere, Good Times at Davey Wayne’s is taking a proud stand for the tacky, wood-paneled, avocado-and-mustard-hued 1970s.
A neon sign and quintessential Hollywood-style lights glitter against the night sky and beckon you to the entrance. This place is singular in its embrace of the era’s gaudy side, celebrating the style excesses without a hint of irony. As you and your friends study the pinball machine and groovy zigzag-patterned ceiling, you’ll soon realize that this place isn’t poking fun at the ’70s. Davey Wayne’s sincerely and lovingly tries to recreate the ambiance and decor of the decade.
As you take a seat on a bar stool, your feet dangle above shag carpet while you read the ’70s-style bubble letters on the menu. You instantly want to try the “Smoke on the Water,” a cocktail blending quinquina (a sweetened wine) and a couple types of Scotch and bitters, while another friend opts for the “Cisco Kid,” a tequila-and-raspberry drink with a dash of absinthe. Your other buddies decide test the bar’s reputation as a retro paradise and sample from the large, rotating selection of beers that are served from vintage-inspired taps jutting right out of the wall. You order up a few tacos and Korean-spiced chicken wings from the small food menu, too, just to have something to snack on.
For nostalgia’s sake, engage in a fierce game of pinball with your crew while disco tunes and Motown classics keep the vibe upbeat. You study the wall of vintage soda cans to see if you can recognize the now-defunct brands, and you gape in fascination at the glorious hair and killer threads worn in the old pictures that line the wall. Even if you weren’t alive in the ’70s, a guys’ night out at Davey Wayne’s makes you wish you were. Plenty of LA hot spots are nearby, but you and your friends may find yourselves so charmed by your trip back in time that you begin and end your night there.