If you're not a WeHo gay—and let's face it, some of us just aren't—there's never been much of an option for gay watering holes near the beach in Los Angeles. The only nearby possibility is Roosterfish, on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice, a hip and artsy but still very much low-key bar with a mixed clientele and not-too-violently-priced drinks. Sadly, this particular option will be closed off as well, come May.
Abbot Kinney has been exploding in popularity for at least the last five years. With it, of course, has been a swift turnover in storefront profiles. Gone are the days of affordable eateries and boho-chic hippie hangouts—now, even the food trucks are high priced, and the faux boho-chic boutiques cost a prettier penny than locals care to spend.
Mirroring this, the surrounding neighborhood of Venice as a whole has gone through something of a rent revolution, with affordable options all but drying up in the space of the last two years. It's a grim harbinger of times to come; people are used to discussing the ever-inflating real estate and rental market bubbles of New York and San Francisco, but it's high time to add Los Angeles to that list.
What gives? Is it at all accurate to simply label this as "gentrification"? Usually, people like to identify the waves of gentrification as such: first it's the gays, then everybody else. But clearly, that's not what's happening here.
The dead giveaway, of course, is when Google moved in to Venice in 2011. Along with the highly visible Snapchat offices on Venice Beach, the phenomenon of Silicon Beach has taken hold, and since real estate largely depends on word of mouth, the changes were inevitable.
Now, gay Angelenos who are not up for dealing with the plastic crush of Santa Monica Boulevard and The Abbey will have no choice but to trek on the 10 over to the Silver Lake/Echo Park area, where reside the edgier Eagle, Akbar, and Faultline.
Here's hoping some forward-thinking homo sees the gap now present in this area's gay landscape and opens up an effortlessly sexy, artfully unpretentious, brand new bar (and figures out a way not to charge $23 cocktails).