A major loss for The Valley - and LA’s queer culture in general. After 52 years, Oil Can Harry’s has closed permanently. In a message posted on their website, the owners confirmed that “The property ... was purchased on December 9th by a new buyer, who wants to have their own venue with jazz music.” First opened in the 1940s as a burlesque club called The Zomba Cafe, the venue was a safe space in an era where dancing among same-sex partners was illegal (a spy hole in the door served as a way of alerting patrons of police raids), and in 1968, it became Oil Can Harry’s, a country-and-western bar and iconic LGBTQ+ spot known for its line dancing, Saturday night discos, Sunday performances from the late Lori Donato, and upstairs karaoke that never failed to turn into all-out dance party.
Over in Pico-Robertson, Jewish deli Label’s Table has closed its doors after 46 years. Citing a “family emergency,” owner Bruce Krakoff first delivered the news via a signed note taped to their door, in which he wrote, “We regret that we must now close forever. We want to thank all of you for your continued support for 46 years. We will miss you. We love you.”
It’s not a permanent closure, but Pink’s Hot Dogs announced that they will be shuttering their famed storefront in Hollywood. In a statement given to the Los Angeles Times, co-owner Richard Pink revealed that the decision was made in order to protect their employees and fans of the 81-year-old hot dog stand, saying “I just couldn’t live with myself and my guilt, if you will, if ... a customer or an employee got sick and they couldn’t get into the hospital.” Pink’s will remain closed through March.
For a full list of LA restaurants that have closed permanently due to the pandemic, click here.