As far back as the 1920’s, when Hollywood was entering its “Golden Age,” the Sunset Strip has been synonymous with a good time. Thanks to being outside of the Los Angeles city limits, the Strip was placed under the supervision of the Sheriff’s Department rather than the traditionally more vigilant LAPD. Gambling was also illegal within the city of Los Angeles, but legal in the county.
These two determining factors allowed the Sunset Strip to be transformed into the hedonistic playground that is very much alive and kicking today. Nightclubs and casinos congregated to this area attracting actors and actresses, movie bigwigs, locals and tourists alike. The backrooms of these establishments were even the go to places for liquor in LA during Prohibition.
The Sunset Strip continued to be a prominent party center for future decades, and gradually evolved into a place for emerging musicians to be discovered from the 1960’s onwards. Artists such as The Doors, The Byrds, Alice Cooper and Motley Crue all performed on the Strip as they made their way to the top.
Although you won’t find casinos there today, The Sunset Strip still remains a fashionable and extremely popular area with Young Hollywood. It is not unusual to encounter a host of celebrities as well as unknown hustling actors and actresses on a night out on the Sunset Strip. Many of the original establishments are still open and intact and trendy new venues regularly premiere.
Here are 5 of the most legendary Sunset Strip Bars and Nightclubs to be found on the Sunset Strip:
Whisky A Go Go, 8901 West Sunset Boulevard
A Hollywood landmark since it first opened its doors in 1964; it has hosted some of the greatest musical icons of all time. From The Doors to Led Zeppelin, just about every major classic rock band has graced its stage. Still open and as popular as ever, Whisky A Go Go remains a vibrant venue to catch some live rock music. Due its popularity and big name acts it is advisable to buy tickets for events beforehand.
The bar at the infamous Chateau Marmont hotel is a regular hang out spot for A List celebrities and the major movers and shakers in Hollywood. Drinks at this establishment definitely don’t come cheap, but the chance to hang out in this iconic bar may just make the pricey tab worth it. Bar Marmont also features a small restaurant area which serves fine Californian cuisine. A must stop for those looking for a truly Hollywood experience; Bar Marmont is always an upscale affair where you might even spot a celebrity.
The Viper Room, 8852 Sunset Blvd
A trendy nightclub since its opening in 1993, The Viper Room was partly owned by actor Johnny Depp until 2004. Like Whisky A Go Go, this nightclub is mainly used as a live music venue. The club gained infamy in 1993 when River Phoenix died outside the club of a drug overdose but has remained popular to this day with music fans and celebrities alike. Mainly hosting punk and metal music bands, many of the events at The Viper Room require you to buy tickets.
The Comedy Store, 8433 West Sunset Boulevard
Perhaps the most well known of all of the clubs on the Sunset Strip, The Comedy Store has hosted just about every major US comedian at one point or other. Continually hosting the most popular comedians in the country, tourists as well as locals continue to flock to this club. Due to its high profile acts, tickets often sell out extremely quickly, so you will definitely want to buy your tickets well in advance.
The Sky Bar, 8440 Sunset Blvd
Although not as old or as established as the other clubs and bars mentioned on this list, the Sky Bar has quickly become one of the hottest bars in Hollywood. Located within the posh Mondrian Hotel, the Sky Bar is a glamorous bar situated in the hotel’s pool deck. Well known DJ’s frequent the bar and major Hollywood events are regularly held here. It can be hard to get past the doorman, but arriving early or getting on the guest list can help improve your chances of getting to experience this fashionable bar.
Naturally there are many other trendy bars and clubs on Sunset Strip but our list represents some of the very best in terms of legends and notoriety. Whether you are looking to experience some old school Hollywood glamour, rock out to some live indie music or mingle with the up and coming stars of tomorrow, you will likely find what you are looking for at one of these top Sunset Strip venues.