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King Eddy's Underground Speakeasy Will Be Reborn

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Main room of King Eddy's underground speakeasy
Main room of King Eddy's underground speakeasy
Matthew Kang is the Lead Editor of Eater LA. He has covered dining, restaurants, food culture, and nightlife in Los Angeles since 2008. He's the host of K-Town, a YouTube series covering Korean food in America, and has been featured in Netflix's Street Food show.

Imagine looking back upon the relics of decades past, on a room mostly untouched for generations. That's the underground, cavernous room lying beneath the historical King Edward Hotel in Downtown LA, below the recently renovated and re-opened King Eddy Saloon on the edge of Skid Row. Down below the dive bar, Eater took a full tour of the subterranean find, which was an actual speakeasy during Prohibition. There are remnants of murals on the brick walls from the 1930's, probably something to spruce up the dim room during times of revelry.

Currently filled with debris and random knick-knacks that have accummulated over the years at the hotel, the current management of King Eddy Saloon is planning to refurbish the former speakeasy and make it like a lounge, with a new bar in the far corner and a pool table in the middle. They're working with the local neighborhood council to get approvals for the build out, though it's uncertain if they'll be able to include it with King's Eddy's liquor license, which is probably one of the oldest existing ones in the city. The 4,161 square foot basement is currently in the early stages of getting a conditional use beverage permit.

The upstairs saloon on the edge of Skid Row was legalized in 1933, and its tagline eventually became "Where nobody gives a shit about your name." It was a favorite of Charles Bukowski's, and used to feature a smoking room in the back that now hosts a dart board. King Eddy's lived a long, fanciful life as one of L.A.'s most iconic dive bars until it took on new ownership and got a little makeover, with most of its cheesy bar kitsch removed. Jon Valenti, one of the partners in the Acme Bar Group (Spring Street Bar, Library Bar), who's overseeing the basement build-out, is thinking it'll be a year before the former speakeasy lives again. [Eaterwire]
·All King Eddy Saloon Coverage [~ELA~]