Bars & Clubs

Best Greg Louganis-Themed Bar (1963) Los Angeles 2010 

The Spotlight Room

Established in 1963, the Spotlight Room, or just the Spotlight, is one of the oldest gay bars in L.A. Located on Cahuenga Boulevard a block south of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, with its huge sign out front, it’s an old-fashioned dive bar for mostly gay men, with a regular crowd of older guys mixed with younger lads as the night picks up. The music is loud, the room is dark and it smells of long-ago-spilled drinks. The friendly bartender quickly serves you a beer, although you can order some fancy drink, if you insist. There’s always a feeling that something secret and naughty is happening, which may be the remnants of a vibe lingering from times not so long ago when cruising someone of the same sex could get you arrested — by an undercover cop. The Spotlight survived that dangerous era, and now contends with the annoying Disney-fication of Hollywood by deep-pocketed developers who likely don’t appreciate a dive gay bar nearby. No matter. The Spotlight lives on, in all of its gritty splendor. 1601 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hlywd. (323) 467-2425. —Patrick Range McDonald

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