As a Los Angeles native I pride myself on answering the question- “ Hey what’s up, ya know any good bars around here?” Oh, my hopeless little tourist, my unsuspecting Hollywood crowd, and the rest of you who just don’t know any better - I’ve got your solution. Even though I can’t exactly take credit for discovering this joint, I will most diligently spread the word. “Ye Old Coach and Horses” I respond. That, my friends, is a good bar.
She sits on the Sunset Strip and has outlived every other trendy spot attempting to rain on her parade - a Hollywood saint that won’t ever go away. She is no larger than a grungy single apartment, dimly lit in a plethora of red - red walls, lights - the works!
As one walks in, the chunky jukebox is bound to catch your eye, along with a dart board and of course the mini- arcade game located on the bar. The ceiling is vaulted with wooden timbers or high beams (if you prefer). Random art is hung all over the place, and if you’d like a place to sit, there are plenty of Picasso style booths, as they somehow compliment each other but won’t ever match.
Tonight those funky seats are taken up by the various liberated souls (whom I will get to later). So I opt for the raggedy and probably stained bar stools, which I love because I’ve just created easy access to the bartender who mans the place. Only one guy takes care of all his people, and for a Tuesday night, this fucker is quite busy! He looks like a Mid-West farmer, covered in rock & roll! The bartender is your friend and he’s known for his heavy pour!
On weekends, the crowd is much larger and thus, the bartending duties are shared as one more drink mixer is added to the vibe.
Meanwhile it's now an early Wednesday morning, and I'm on my 3rd beer, because I’m awesome, I’ve already prepared for the cash only rule- I then tip my bartender and close the tab.
The people I’m with decide it’s time for a smoke break, so we head to the outside patio - which is actually just a sidewalk, referred to as “Smokers Haven.”
Outside, we laugh, a guy pisses in the ally, we meet some Australian tourists, Silver Lake hipsters, and respectfully, a pair of cougars. Amidst the variety, there lies our crew: the Hollywood kids, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The wonderful thing about The Coach is that it’s unpredictable. Last week (mid-June) Selma Blair was in a booth making out with her man. Val Kilmer, Axel Rose, and even Robert Patterson have been spotted at The Coach. I must tell you- this is the type of bar Hollywood visits, NOT to be “seen”! It’s a unique gem, they just come here to have a great time, as do I.
Above all, even with the bathroom walls and floor lined with coke residue from the 1980’s, somehow this place will never lose its magical charm. Kinda like your elementary school teacher.
You will always have love for her.
The Nitty Gritty:
Location: 7617 W. Sunset Boulevard Los Angeles CA, 90046
Hours: Mon-Sat. 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 a.m. Sun. 5:00 p.m. - 2:00 a.m.
Happy Hour: Everyday 4 to 8pm!!
Parking: There is only street parking, Make sure to read those signs. They tow on Sunset Blvd!
* Don’t show up without your money in tow. This gem only takes the green, as in cold hard cash, although there is an ATM (that will charge you) near the restroom.
*You can sneak your drink outside, although YOU MUST place it on the hidden ledge at the entrance. Take your drink out on the boulevard and watch what happens, you fool! “Don’t say I didn’t warn ya.” :)
*Some people use this bar as a launching pad for a great weekend night - the pre-game to the club circuit, the meeting place to have a beer before a crazy night!
*There are a couple of late night Thai food restaurants located a couple shops down from The Coach.