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Man Blames Los Feliz Dive Bar the Drawing Room for Vicious Attack

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A nearby laundromat owner claims the Drawing Room’s bar patrons are to blame

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Inside the Drawing Room
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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.

Two assailants viciously attacked the owner of a laundromat in Los Feliz located in the same strip mall as The Drawing Room dive bar in the early morning hours of May 5. The victim, Carl Swanson, says the unprovoked attack came from two of the bar’s patrons. The attack left him with a facial fracture, bite mark, and other wounds. Swanson says it’s just one in a number of incidents surrounding customers from the notorious dive bar. accusing the Drawing Room of not policing its bar patrons better.

The Drawing Room has for years operated nearly around the clock, opening often as early as 6 a.m., and closing at 2 a.m. daily. Those extended hours are rare for a drinking establishment in Los Angeles County, and some local business owners, including Swanson’s Laundry Room laundromat, say that customers either lingering after closing or wait to get in for a first morning drink often cause problems.

As KTLA News and others reported, a man and a woman beat Swanson with his own mop handle. Swanson also told the news outlet that he has previously had a run-in with the woman who attacked him. He said that he kicked her out of the laundromat in the early morning hours as she waited for the Drawing Room to open, and that she returned a week later with a partner solely to attack him.

“Sometimes they keep the bar open all night,” Swanson told KTLA while at the laundromat. And once many customers leave the Drawing Room, he adds: “They want to come in here and sell drugs, or sell drugs in the parking lot. They hassle all the business owners here.”

Other nearby business owners tell NBC News that the Drawing Room’s rowdy patrons have been a problem for some time, alleging drug use and other disruptive issues on property. Swanson says that he asked the owner of the Drawing Room to start supplying security months ago.

Meanwhile, word is that Los Feliz locals may take to tonight’s neighborhood council meeting to speak out against the Drawing Room during public comment. Many others are actively commenting on a NextDoor thread surrounding the attack. Some are even calling to shut down the bar.

Eater attempted to reach a manager or owner at the Drawing Room; the person answering the phone declined to comment. The bar directed several other news outlets to its attorney. Police are currently looking for the two suspects.

The Drawing Room. 1800 Hillhurst Ave., Los Angeles, CA.