Before the Highland Park Bowl became a premiere location for recreation in the neighborhood, it housed a pharmacy, a slew of doctor’s offices and a music store back in the prohibition era. Upstairs, patients would obtain a doctor’s note for medicinal whiskey from their physician and take it downstairs, where their prescriptions were filled at the pharmacy. The unique responsibilities of this multi-purpose building allowed for permissible boozing to commence on the grounds. And when the music store acquired a license for live events back in 1933, it ushered in a whole new layer to the buildings unique functionality. From the drink menus, the live show potential, to the food and the facade, the Highland Park Bowl is a rare venue where hugely memorable days and nights can go down.
So to celebrate this historic building’s recent restoration, we’re giving you three foolproof reasons to take a visit.
When restoration camp 1933 Group acquired the Highland Park Bowl in 2015, they immediately began stripping away at the building in order to re-reveal its historic Spanish Revival aesthetic. Wooden arches and a grand, elongated hall set the raw, vintage and industrial tone . The music room — lovingly named Mr. T’s Room commemorating the building’s former late, great owner — sits in its own dedicated space while an accompanying open air kitchen, two bars and an eight-lane alley occupy the space. A micro-brewery, slated to unveil in 2017, is in the works as well.
Italian food enthusiasts rejoice; this bowling alley has succulent recipes and a wood-fired oven just for you. Carefully sourced ingredients play well into their rossa and bianca varieties, such as Crudo e Arugula topped with San Marzano tomato sauce, Di Stefano mozzarella, arugula, prosciutto crudo, and parmesan plus their Burrata layered with confit heirloom tomatoes, burrata cheese and rustic pesto. You can also grab gourmet sandwiches and other savory eats while visiting, making this snack bar a bit elevated among the rest.
The Highland Park Bowl offers up a pretty sweet selection of distinctive rotating local and seasonal cocktails and beers. For instance, ‘The Dude Abides’ tips a hat to The Big Lebowski by reinventing the White Russian with Tito’s Vodka, homemade Civil Coffee liqueur, horchata cream (made with rice milk) and cinnamon tincture while the ‘Modern Washout,’ modernizes the French Martini with Sino Reposado Tequila, Ancho Reyes, pineapple gomme, raspberry puree, and lemon juice, all garnished with raspberry and Tajin-dusted pineapple. Sounds so, so good; we know.
You can visit the newly renovated Highland Park Bowl at 5621 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90042.