Ask Chris: Razing the Bar


Q: Whatever happened to that amazing carved bar from Yee Mee Loo in Chinatown?

A: The massive wood, silk, and gilt confection was installed inside the Spring Street landmark in 1939. The building was torn down five decades later to make room for the world’s ugliest minimall. In 1999, Alvin Simon moved the salvaged bar to his Glendale restaurant, Cinnabar. After Simon died in 2010, the relic was put in storage—minus the frontispiece, which was cut to fit into a pickup. The family is open to parting with the bar and asked me to vet offers. See my e-mail address below, or look for me at the Good Luck Bar in Los Feliz, the only place that still makes the famous Yee Mee Loo “blue drink.”