Though Sierra Madre is sandwiched among the suburbs of San Gabriel Valley, it has a small town's soul, complete with a tried-and-true dive bar, Buccaneer, which has changed little over its 52 years. It offers the usual townie-bar amenities — dimly lit sign, jukebox, pool table, stiff pours — but what sets it apart is the decor. True to its name, portraits of Blackbeard and his wenches can be found throughout the venue. But the star attraction is a 30-foot, glow-in-the-dark mural behind the bar, featuring scenes on a pirate ship and in a tavern, bare-breasted concubines and all. The work was painted by Frank Bowers, who is said to have exchanged it for his bar tab. Bowers reportedly also painted murals for the Federal Art Project and sets for Gone With the Wind. 70 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre. (626) 355-9045.

—Romina Rosenow

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