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Silver Lake Dive Bar Smog Cutter Ends Its Incredible Run Sunday

One of the most enduring dives gets a final curtain call

The Smog Cutter
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.

The never-ending tide of development and money has come for Silver Lake dive bar essential The Smog Cutter. According to LA Weekly, the bar’s last day will be Sunday.

It’s a sad end to one of the more prominent Eastside dive bars around, and it carries a familiar final story. Apparently owner Nita Sevikul has been without a long-term lease since 2015, operating month-to-month without much future security. Unable to secure a longer deal from the landlord without some costly renovations and a jump in rent, Sevikul is instead turning off the lights and walking away.

The loss of Smog Cutter certainly nods to the changes happening up and down Virgil Village, which also houses Sqirl and the soon-to-open Melody restaurant and bar. Smog Cutter has existed on that stretch since the 1970s (first as a hostess bar, later as the local hang it would become for decades), but with new development — and lots of new money to be made by landowners — in the mix, it seems the bar’s time has come. Final service for The Smog Cutter is Sunday night.