When I first moved to Los Angeles, I knew nothing about the city. Where to live certainly was the least of my concerns. In fact when I was told that my buddy got us a place in Sherman Oaks, I was jazzed. Heck, I had even once watched the short-lived eponymous series on Showtime and thought, "Man, what a cool place to live!" Well, we all make mistakes, but that doesn't mean you should totally discount the area. After all, they do have The Chimney Sweep Lounge.
Resting in a strip mall off the Woodman exit on the 101, and dropped in next to Curves, the Sweep is a classy dive bar complete with dart board, pool table and Golden Tee arcade game. They don't serve anything on tap, and if you come in asking for a Stella instead of the $4.50 MGD, you just might get a dirty look, if not a punch in the face. It is, however, the kind of place where you can go on a Tuesday night and see a trio of twenty-something ladies playing Arcade Fire exhaustingly on repeat on a cush digital jukebox while dancing next to a sixty-five year old woman bent over the bar, drinking vodka straight up, which this writer did just this past week. Additionally, if you're celebrating a birthday that month, they'll gladly put your name on the wall to let the world know that you just got one year older. If those aren't major selling points, I don't know what is.
Outfitted with free wi-fi, (you heard right, free-wifi in a dive bar) the AARP card carrying, possibly Russian mafia waitress, Nina, will gladly give you attitude during her evening shifts. Just be sure to catch her on a good night. With a fireplace nestled smack dab in the middle of the bar (though I've never seen it alight) and the crown molding littered with bowling and softball trophies from sponsored teams over the years, there remains something special about the Chiminey Sweep and more than well worth the travel into the valley of the shadow of death (cue "Gangsta's Paradise").
- WHAT: The Chimney Sweep Lounge
- WHERE: 4354 Woodman Ave, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
- WHEN: Open Daily from 10am-2am
- $$$: $4.50-6.00 for beer and $5.00-$12.00 for mixed drinks