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Downtown LA’s Newest Drinking Den Glows Bright Along Main Street

Bar Franca has cocktail tunnel vision

Bar Franca
Inside the dim Bar Franca space
Kristian Ranker
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.

There’s a mellow new drinking hideaway called Bar Franca tucked right onto Main Street in Downtown, and it’s already starting to make waves in the neighborhood.

Bar Franca quietly came to life last month under the watch of owner Rachel Thomas from The Must. The idea is to be kind of a catch-all for the Historic Core neighborhood, grabbing locals and tourists wandering south past Baco Mercat or north from Clifton’s, Nickel Diner, and everything else. That manifests in a laid-back, tunnel-y kind of space with tall ceilings, festive floral wallpaper, a long bar, and semi-separate lounge seating up near the sidewalk.

As for the drinks, Bar Franca’s list keeps things simple with options like the Rodeo, with tequila, cucumber, cinnamon coconut water, lime, and Grand Marnier. Cocktails are in the $13 to $14 range, with beer, wine, and bar snacks coming in under that. Happy hour runs 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, with drinks only $8. Bar Franca is open now in Downtown, keeping hours from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Tuesday through Sunday.

Bar Franca. 438 S. Main St., Los Angeles, CA.