Which bar is the oldest in Los Angeles?


Photograph courtesy of Cole’s

Vintage joints such as Town House and the Golden Gopher claim pre-Prohibition lineage, but since it’s impossible for me to pin down the illegal in-between era of speakeasies, I’m limiting this to “oldest operating bar”—starting with the day booze became legal again. On Tuesday, April 4, 1933, the Board of Police Commissioners granted 69 beer and wine licenses in L.A. The first one— for bars still serving today—went to Cole’s; next up were the Biltmore Hotel, the King Eddy Saloon, El Paseo, and La Golondrina (in that order). I shall raise my mug to King Eddy because the skid row haunt is closing soon for renovations. Meet me for last call!