Mr. T's Bowl | Northeast L.A. | Bars and Clubs, Music Venues | Music
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The bowling lanes may no longer be open at Mr. T's Bowl, but the longtime bar remains one of Highland Park's main live-music nightclubs. The place is still run by the family of its namesake founder, Joe Teresa, who opened Mr. T's Bowl in 1966 and died in 2004. The venue has undergone several distinct incarnations over the decades, evolving from a blue-collar bowling alley and neighborhood bar into the art-punk hipster hangout Fuzzyland in the early 1990s, before settling into its current role as a showcase for indie-rock bands from the northeast side of Los Angeles. The decor retains much of the club's original charm, with Christmas lights twinkling over the cluttered bar and vestiges of the old bowling lanes still visible behind the stage curtain. The main music room has a low stage, scattered tables and a wide area for dancing and mingling, while the bar is situated to the side in a nook with comfortable booths. Beck, Los Abandoned, the Breeders, 8-Bit, Backbiter, Saccharine Trust, Third Grade Teacher and Go Betty Go are among the many musicians who've played there, and Mr. T's currently alternates bookings of indie, pop and garage combos with burlesque nights. The affable soundman Arlo has been such a veteran fixture in the sound booth that a local band once named themselves after him. The full bar stills draws early-evening visits from the feisty 70-something barflies who've been coming here for years, before younger scenesters fill the place later at night. Mr. T's has its own parking lot, and patrons enter through the back entrance by the lot. Ages 21 & over.

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