The Iconic Dive Bar Making A Triumphant Return To Hollywood

When you think about the food capitals of the world, Los Angeles might not be the first place that comes to mind. But, maybe it should be higher on the list. The city is home to some of the best roof-top bars in the US and the most iconic restaurants in the world. The city's wide selection includes restaurants like the legendary Cocoanut Grove, the famed El Coyote, and a Koreatown restaurant that is important to film and food lovers alike. Now, one of LA's perhaps less-famous (but no less-loved) locals-only joints is coming back. Introducing: Power House Bar — the iconic dive making a triumphant return to Hollywood.

Power House Bar is known for being a towny bar with famously stiff, unfancy drinks, says Eater. Patrons considered the laid-back, grungy atmosphere to be a welcome juxtaposition to the commercial glamor of the city. TimeOut calls Power House "a dive bar with nearly 70 years of history behind it... the area's last true dive... a place where everyone from The Beatles to Bukowski have wet their whistles." 

Power House's return is the product of the collective efforts of Cedd Moses and Pouring With Heart, the faces behind many other L.A. bar preservations in the name of showcasing the city's history. Indeed, Power House Bar describes itself as "a hidden little bar at the corner of Hollywood and Highland," packed with dive-bar charisma and gritty charm. For a self-described dive, however, Power House Bar boasts a refined yet understated menu, featuring classic cocktails like Moscow Mules and Whiskey Sours — and not every visitor is excited about the bar's impressive new selection.

Don't call it a comeback

If this story sounds at all familiar, it might be because Power House Bar previously closed in 2014. According to Eater, it attempted a rebrand only a few months later, opening with a new look that quickly welcomed potential patrons into a new era. Although the bar boasts four stars on Yelp, faithful visitors didn't seem thrilled about the previous rebrand. 

One reviewer writes, "I'm conflicted. The old Power House was everything I loved about dive bars. The new Powerhouse is a pretty strong cocktail spot, which I also like. I still wish it was the old Power House, though." Another Yelp reviewer reminisces, "Not the same Power House from a few years ago, when it was a true Hollywood dive. Still, it's a go-to spot when I just want a low-key drink for a pretty decent price." 

Of course, nothing stays the same forever. In a 2020 Facebook post, Power House itself said that without "rock n' roll, being an adult would be a waste of time." So, when Bob Dylan famously sang "The Times They Are A-Changin'," perhaps fans should have given the lyrics a closer listen. A TimeOut review writes of the new Power House, "No, it's not the same, and it never will be, but if it had to turn into a boutique bar, at least it's a good one." After being shuttered for more than two years, the bar will be reopening its doors in September, says Eater

Old and new fans alike can visit 1714 N. Highland in LA to see this revamped neighborhood staple for themselves.