When you want a drink, you want a drink--and in those cases, the cheap happy hour at the local dive is everything you want it to be. But sometimes, you've got to class it up and get a real, fine-tuned drink at a place worth being seen at.
The new Thirsty Crow Bar in Silver Lake is aspiring to be the latter. It's taken up the former space of Stinkers, a truck stop-themed bar with too much kitsch to be a regular dive, and cleaned up its act to try and become a full, bona-fide 1920s-esque bourbon bar. With dark interiors and a big half-circle bar, tended by pin-up-style girls and well-coiffed gents in suspenders, the ambiance is warm and inviting, in that insider kind of way (complemented further by the hipster crowd).
And with an extensive drinks menu (no food, but they'll let you order in or bring your own) of intriguing-sounding bourbons, whiskeys and ales, they've definitely got the vintage feel down. The choice cocktails are the classics: mint juleps, manhattans, old fashioneds. We figured we stick to what they know best: Leslie opted for the traditional rye manhattan, while I ventured for my usual whiskey sour (but of which they bragged, "you've never tasted a whiskey sour until you've tasted ours"), and later, a mint julep.
Service was slow for the soft-open night, but you could see that's because the bartenders were still learning their surroundings. The drinks, though, were well-crafted; I do still feel like I've had a whiskey sour before, but theirs is undeniably well-balanced. Little touches like a dark cherry at the bottom of Leslie's manhattan was a nice touch.
Again, it was a soft-open night, on a Friday, but the place was packed by 8pm. Still, with high ceilings and open windows, the bar didn't feel cramped. The bartender let me know that happy hour occurs regularly from 5-8pm, but that it only entailed $1 off all drinks. Which means your cocktails are still a high $11 (usual $12 if you didn't do the math). Not quite worth rushing over from work for.
Still, the Thirsty Crow will get its hip crowd and attention, and deservedly so, as far as we could tell. Good drinks, nice ambiance, perfect for people-watching--sometimes just exactly what you need from a bar.
Thirsty Crow Bar is located at 2939 W. Sunset Blvd. in Silver Lake, and its official opening is tomorrow night.
-- Chau Tu
Photo credit: the BEAT