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

LA Weekly