RIP Embers Lounge

Coronavirus has taken another beloved greater Los Angeles institution – the Embers Lounge in Whittier. A venerable southeast LA dive bar, this 1950’s/60’s era (nobody is quite sure exactly what year it opened) watering hole was home to countless nights of drunken excess, plotted murders, or just a plain old quiet night with a friend.

Located in a strip mall next to a Winchell’s and a Chris n Pitt’s of the same vintage, the bar was cash only, with CHEAP, strong pours, wood paneling, and one lonely pool table.  Perhaps best of all, murals by Frank Bowers of his erotic vision of hell graced every available wall – naked, big-breasted women and tuxedo-clad men, complete with devil’s horns and red tails.  Bowers painted for private and public spaces from the 1930’s through the 1960’s (risque and straight), but it is believed that the work he did for cocktail lounges was as payment for bar tabs. The Embers murals were wrapped in Christmas paper and garland during the holidays, my favorite time of year there.

Having grown up in Whittier, my formative years were spent at the Embers learning about myself, my friends, and my alcohol capacity. It is an immeasurable loss to the community.

Now I need to find out what is happening to those murals.

This entry was posted in Cocktails, Beer, Wine & Weed. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to RIP Embers Lounge

  1. James Maldon says:

    It is sad that it closed, it was a great little place. I’m going through Radiation for Cancer and I would love to be able to have a Brew after with my Brother who enjoyed hitting the Room for a couple of cold ones after work.

  2. David Anthony Rodriguez says:

    I grew up in this neighborhood. Have seen the slow transition from what I new as a little boy to present day west Whittier. King coles, the bowling alley, thrifty, jc penny’s all long gone. Now the embers.
    Now we are left with fond memories of one hell of a true dive bar. RIP Embers.

  3. Selena M says:

    Embers was where me and my husband had all our first dates after meeting at the anarchy library in Downey. We would spend our weekends at Embers. So sad that it has closed. Trish was our favorite bartender.

Leave a Reply