Sunday, December 23, 2007

One Last Drink at Craby Joe's

(Flickr pic by Streetpix.)

Esotouric's Kim Cooper (who's also behind the 1947project) and Richard Schave bemoan the loss of Craby Joe's, an institution on Main near Skid Row. The bar, which has been at 7th and Main since 1933, closes its door Christmas Eve.

Writes Kim, via press release:

Craby Joe's has served as a watering hole to John Fante, Charles Bukowski, and many other great souls who drew from this well of characters and atmosphere from the wrong side of the tracks. Its now-dead neon sign blinked gaily in the opening credits for "Barfly," and its pickled eggs were the day's only protein for too many.

Gentrification has come to Skid Row, and now Craby Joe's, the final holdout among the dozens of bars that once lined Main Street, is being shoved into history's dustbin. Its neighbor the Cecil Hotel, already on the skids when Raymond Chandler described it in early short stories, is now a self-described boutique hotel, a destination for the discerning European traveler. This fragile coral reef of artists, galleries (the hub of Art Walk is two blocks away at 5th and Main at Bert Green's), SRO hotels and their long time residents will suffer a severe blow with the close of Craby Joe's, and its fans and friends will miss the unpretentious neighborhood bar and its gruff-but-lovable co-owner Jenny.

A group of local preservationists and historians will be on hand Dec. 24 at 10 p.m. to toast the bar one last time.

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