Since 1972 this tiny and dank yet beloved bar has sat unassuming on the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Portia Street in the neighborhood that defines ‘hipster’. If you avoid that word and everything it evokes then this place may not be your cup of tea. A sparsely decorated dive bar in ways both charming (a jukebox!) and seedy (who is that guy?) can sometimes be just what the doctor ordered. The patrons can skew a little young, but Little Joy is totally unpretentious and usually crawling with off-duty musicians fresh from their gig at The Echo. You really can come as you are and will always find yourself in an interesting conversation.
The happy hour here is famous for its $2 beers and $3 well drinks from 6-9pm. Two pool tables crammed into the small space complete the picture and provide welcome entertainment. Little Joy has recently come under new ownership and the verdict is still out on whether this has improved the establishment. It’s cleaner and brighter but the funky graffiti-covered interior walls have been painted and the music has strayed from a quirky indie bent to more house and hip-hop.
The good news is the drinks are still strong, the beer is still cheap and the bartenders are cool as ever. Bring cash (no credit cards accepted) and a buddy and get to know some locals.