URGENT- Craby Joe's, LA's Last Skid Row Bar, to close forever on Christmas Eve
WHAT: A wake for Skid Row's last bar, Craby Joe's
WHERE: Craby Joe's, 656 South Main Street, Los Angeles
WHEN: December 24, 10pm till last call
As Musso & Frank is a living testament to Hollywood's golden age, so Craby Joe's is to downtown Los Angeles' Main Street tenderloin. Both are family-owned, and both have contributed greatly to the social culture of their neighborhoods.
At the corner of 7th and Main since 1933, Craby Joe's will close it doors for good on Christmas Eve, 2007. A group of local historians and preservationists, including representatives from Esotouric and 1947project, will gather at 10 pm on December 24 to share what Hemingway wrote of the custom in his beloved Spain, "La Penultima--the next to last drink," for the last one is too bitter a thought.
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.