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Boyle Heights Bar Legend Las Palomas Fades Away

The LA Times worries for the future of the neighborhood

Inside Las Palomas, Boyle Heights
Inside Las Palomas, Boyle Heights
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Boyle Heights local watering hole Las Palomas has faded away, adding to the pile of discarded concepts that have come and gone in the face of intractable change on the Eastside. The 'gentrification' of places like Highland Park and Eagle Rock have long been rumored in Boyle Heights, with the LA Times using the closure of the bar as a cause célèbre to discuss the rising tides of change.

By its own admission, Las Palomas was a simple place for locals to stop and grab a drink, while the rest of Downtown and the world whizzed past from beyond First Street. First opened in 1963 and situated on a major corridor for the area, the bar would become something of a planted flag for the neighborhood as it transitioned from Jews and Russians to Japanese and ultimately Mexicans and Mexican-Americans.

The first real signs of trouble didn’t come until 2006, when Eastside Luv, a rollicking wine bar catering to a younger clientele, opened up next door. Interestingly enough, that schism between worlds earned its own "change is coming" treatment in the Times back in April.

Whatever the true results of Las Palomas’ closure — rising rents, changing clientele — the sturdy drink spot will be sorely missed by locals. But, as the Times points out, you could always get a beer from upstart Indie Brewing down the street instead.