Revolver - Iconic Gay Bar Returns to West Hollywood
Video bars have always been popular spots for gay men to meet and mingle. In San Francisco you have Midnight Sun, in Chicago it's Side Track, there's Flicks in San Diego, and in LA the champion of them all was Revolver. Sure, lots of bars show videos in the background, but Revolver made their mixture of showtunes, vintage footage, and contemporary hits the focal point. They were also known for their pop-culture music mashups (long before anyone knew what a mashup was), where footage from Charlie's Angels would mix with "Where the Streets Have No Name," super hero shows would be edited to Bonnie Tyler's "Holding Out for a Hero," and montages from Bionic Woman, Wonder Woman, and Mommie Dearest would pack in the crowds. But more than that it was a chill spot where guys would easily meet, talk, and actually strike up a conversation because the atmosphere was more like a fantastic cocktail party rather than a hard-partying night spot.
Revolver lost its appeal and soon closed when spots like Here Lounge opened, The Abbey became a full bar, and older clubs Rage and Micky's renovated. However, LA Restaurateur Alfredo Diaz and Flower Films Co-President Chris Miller have brought Revolver back, and they're recapturing that spirit from the bar's heyday while updating everything else with a sexy, modern edge.
Walk through the reconstructed revolving front door and you'll find a space that is modern yet casual, with blacks, grays and splashes of red. There's a 20-foot tall bottle display in the center of the bar that's delicately lit and creates a soft glow throughout the interior. Speakers with a red, glowing "R" offer a tech feel, and 20 state-of-the-art flat screen televisions throughout the bar let you watch videos if you want or just continue chatting up the hottie sitting nearby.
“Chris and I had talked for years about our shared fondness of Revolver and wanting to bring back our version of the popular bar someday," says Diaz, who's known in the LA restaurant scene for his hot lunch spots Kokomo and K2, among others. "When we found out that the lease on the space was available, we jumped at the chance to take it over.”
“Revolver was such an iconic bar and we’re excited to bring an updated version back," adds Miller, whose entertainment background had him producing such movies as Whip It and the VH1 show Tough Love. "We aren’t exactly reinventing the video bar concept but Revolver does stand apart from other video bars with its original video mash up content created by VJ’s we’ve discovered from around the world and found nowhere else.”
8851 Santa Monica Blvd.,
West Hollywood CA 90069
Black and white image, 1982, from Flickr
Color images from Popsugar.com