Drinking after work in LA is a complex and nuanced activity. It’s a chance to wind down with coworkers outside the office or bitch about life with good friends, but it’s also very often just a continuation of actual work. Los Angeles is the city of schmooze – if you aren’t spending your time after work buying drinks, taking drinks, shaking hands, and spotting a false promise before it even leaves someone’s mouth, you’re doing it all wrong. And West Hollywood is its alcohol-soaked epicenter.
Stressed yet? Don’t be. Because whether you’re with friends, colleagues, or scary important people, we have every situation covered. Here is your guide to knowing where to have the best after-work drinks in West Hollywood.
Rosaline is a very solid Peruvian restaurant, but sliding up to their front bar and having a few early evening cocktails and some ceviche with a second-tier friend you haven’t seen in a while is probably the best use of the place. The space is big and modern, and the Melrose and La Cienega location is convenient for just about everybody.
Marvin is an actually-cool neighborhood wine bar on Beverly where you go when you don’t want to deal with manic crowds or 25-year-olds chugging vodka cocktails at 6pm. The space feels like a century-old sidewalk cafe in Paris, and there’s a daily Happy Hour from 6-7pm that includes $10 wine glasses and $6 beer. They also serve a very solid food menu largely composed of things you want to eat while drinking wine.
Roger Room is one of the best bars in the city, located on prime Weho real estate, and somehow people still don’t really know about it. Which is good news for you and your low-key after-work drink plans. The tiny bar has an old Hollywood feel, and the crowd inside is mostly industry people waiting to see a show next door at The Largo. The atmosphere is relaxed, you can always find a seat if you’re there early, and the cocktails are fantastic. Just know you’ll have to find somewhere to eat afterwards.
Sweet Chick is the Nas-backed fried chicken joint from NYC. The food is nothing to write home about, but the large space on Fairfax has a fun, laid-back atmosphere and great cocktails. Also, there’s a weekly Happy Hour from 4-7pm that includes $5 beer, wines, and well drinks, plus food specials. No one’s ever too mad about a side of mac while drinking.
Electric Owl is a casual indoor/outdoor space ideal for drinks with someone you aren’t sure whether you want to do business with. There’s a whole back section, but you want to stay up front on the patio to take advantage of their 420 Happy Hour. Wednesday - Saturday, 4:20-7:00pm will get you $6 cocktails and $4.20 bar snacks. Order the spicy mezcal drink.
It’s not even Wednesday and you’re already having escape fantasies at your desk. Hold tight on that one-way plane ticket for now because your college buddy from New York is in town and he wants to drink. Village Idiot is the kind of bar you don’t see often in LA - trendy but unpretentious, and the right kind of rowdy. They have one of the best beer menus in Weho, and an English pub-style menu that’s way better than it needs to be. Aren’t you glad you didn’t drive to LAX?
It’s been one of the Wednesdays and the last thing you need is a $14 fruity cocktail and a patio full of Instagrammers. The Surly Goat is a beer drinkers’ paradise and the kind of relaxed neighborhood bar that doesn’t exist anywhere else in Weho. There’s no food menu here, so don’t come hungry. But meet your roommate here at 7pm for a hefty IPA buzz and quick bitch session about your job, and you’ll stumble out feeling better.
You have a client in town who’ve you never met before, and you have no idea what they’re like, but you know you need to impress them. Your move here is Norah. One of the newer spots in the neighborhood, Norah is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. The big, open space is fantastic, and they serve good cocktails and small plates. The setting is definitely more upscale, but in a way that feels appealing rather than annoying.
The more you bring Jones Hollywood into your life, the better off you’ll be. And that’s especially true for after-work drinks. While they do provide valet, street parking is usually readily available and that’s huge after another mind-melt of a work day. Waiting inside for you is a dark, retro bar/cafe, where people leave you the f*ck alone and let you drink your beer, talk your talk, and eat your apple pie in peace.
Use Zinque as a place to grab dinner with somebody important and you’ll find the below-average mess of a restaurant that it actually is. Use it to drink a lot of wine with friends on their very pretty patio and cry over how much you hate your jobs, and it works perfectly. You can order a salad if you’re hungry and not eat it like everyone else here, but you’re drinking your dinner tonight and that’s exactly how you want it.
Yes, we dropped a pretty tough review on Laurel Hardware and no, this not us backing down from it. But when you use Laurel Hardware correctly, it can be just fine – and drinks after work is how you do it. Coast up to the bar with your other coworkers, gaze into the kaleidoscope eyes of one their bartenders, and get yourself a well-made cocktail in one of Weho’s coolest spaces.
The Belmont is one of those places that looks like a total nightmare from the outside and is actually the opposite inside. Sure, this casual bar/restaurant is a popular drinking hole for industry-types, but they’re here for the same reasons you are. To unwind after a long day, grab a drink with friends on the patio, and take full advantage of that three-hour happy hour.
The Pikey is the place you go to meet your old high school friend on a Tuesday night for a quick beer and walk out hammered. From the outside it might look cheesy, but the interior of this throwback British pub feels extremely old in the most authentic way possible. The scene is always low-key, the people don’t suck, and Happy Hour goes till 7pm. Don’t sleep on the traditional English food either.
This sparkling shrine to meatless Mexican food is also a solid spot to take a deep breath and drink a stiff cocktail after work. The massive back patio is perfect for anything from drinks with the boss to a casual unwind with the roommate.
Despite being in the heart of Weho’s frenzied Santa Monica Blvd. corridor, Saint Felix is a low-key respite for those looking for a quick midweek cocktail. The place isn’t tiny, but it’s still intimate enough that you can actually hear the person across from you talking. The 4-8pm Happy Hour is when you want to be here for cheaper drinks and food.
The Den is an ideal spot to go on a Wednesday night after your performance review came back not-so-hot and you need a place to get drunk with a fringe friend who won’t judge you. While it does get rowdy here on the weekends, midweek is pretty low-key, and you can always enjoy the fire pits on the patio and above-average bar food. $2 off all beer during Happy Hour is a nice feature as well.
Tucked away in a quiet corner of Weho is this tiny, humble neighborhood joint…just kidding. it’s the f*cking Chateau. If that name means nothing to you, grab the nearest magazine and flip open to the “Where Celebrities Go To Get In Magazines” section. That will answer all your questions. Although, serious business does in fact happen here – so if you have some, this is the power spot to get it done.
Yes, that Barney’s Beanery. Though the 90-year-old bar is a bonafide SoCal chain these days, this is the OG location and the quirkiness endures. You come to Barney’s after you’ve already gone home and put your comfies on only to decide that you actually do need that beer. Slide into one of their always-too-small booths, play some trivia, and watch semi-famous sitcom actors sing karaoke. All in your comfies.