Seldom when a long standing dive bar closes its doors, does its replacement retain the ambiance to the best of its ability. In many cases, classic neighborhood establishments are flipped and made to be something their not, and something locals may not gravitate towards. Whole spaces might be remodeled, only craft beers may become available, a high-brow cocktail list and the high prices to match might be introduced. Ideally, a bar will retain the personality of the surrounding residents with the addition of its own characteristics. Crawford’s Bar
Crawford’s bar on Beverly Boulevard has done just that. Keeping the same general layout of its predecessor, while changing essential components. Since opening in early 2016, it has become a well known and highly appreciated watering hole that caters to those in the area.
Owners Dave Abrams and Matt Dittman could have easily shaped the space into one of a slew of trendy bars that have popped up around the city. Situated on the line between Echo Park and Westlake (depending on who you ask,) Crawford’s has remained a go to place for locals to find a dimly lit bar, cheap beer, and the best fried chicken in the area.
Before Crawford’s, there was Linda’s bar. A quintessential dive that closed its doors after a long stint in the neighborhood. Characterized by rowdy crowds, occasional fights and the fact that you had to be buzzed in by the bartender, Linda’s was the place to be if you were looking for reasonably priced booze, and a bar owner who stared you down the entire time you were drinking it.
Much of what makes up the interior of Crawford’s has remained true to its predecessor. The stained glass windows above the red leather booths, the original bar top with dents and scratches still in tact. If you look hard enough, there might still be a bullet hole or two along the walls.
Thankfully, times of greater violence in the area have passed. This allowed several aspects of the bar to change for the better. In order to enter in the past, patrons would have to buzz at the door and wait for the bartender to let them in. Nowadays, the door is left open most of the time, which makes the bar more welcoming while letting the crisp LA night breeze in. What was once two pool tables, is now only one, leaving more space to mingle.
Fried chicken is the star of the show at Crawford’s, no question about it. Tasked with perfecting a simple menu of chicken and sides was Chef Brian Garrigues, a native of Mississippi. First doused in a buttermilk brine then lightly floured, the chicken is then slow fried until the skin is crispy and the meat falls off the bone. Chicken can be ordered to be served regular, or tossed in hot chili oil. You can choose from house made cole slaw, potato salad or baked beans to pair with the chicken. A slice of pickle and piece of toast come in the basket as a complement to your order. They also serve boiled peanuts or house made onion dip to pair with chips if a light snack is all you crave.
Crawford’s bar is located at 2616 Beverly Blvd in Westlake. They’re open Monday – Thursday from 5:00pm – 12:30am, Friday – Saturday from 12:00pm – 2:00am, and Sundays from 12:00pm – 12:30 am.